Plants of
South Australia
Phlegmatospermum cochlearinum
Cruciferae
Downy Cress
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
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Extinct
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5.

Etymology

Phlegmatospermum from the Greek 'phlegma' meaning inflammation and 'sperma' meaning a seed, referring to the mucous seeds. Cochlearinum from the Latin 'cochlearis" meaning a spoon, referring to the spoon-shaped fruit pod.

Distribution and status

Found on the Nullarbor and in the north-eastern part of South Australia, growing on loam and clay in wet depressions.. Also found in Western Australia and New South Wales. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect annual herb to 35 cm high, covered in appressed hairs. Basal leaves in a rosette, elliptic to narrow-obovate, to 9 cm long; entire to toothed; stem leaves reducing. Inflorescence an elongated spike with white or yellow flowers. Flowering between July and September.; Fruits are brown spoon-shaped pod to 10 mm long, slightly winged and notched; hairs lying parallel with long axis of the fruit. Seeds are orange reniform seed to 2 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, with very fine tubercules. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and November.

Collect maturing pods, those turning pale brown with hard seeds inside. Be gentle with the pods as they split open easily.
Place the pods in a tray and cover with paper to prevent seeds from popping out and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the dried pods gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. From two collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 80% to 100%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
7,700 (11.89 g)
7,700 (11.89 g)
50+25-Sep-2007DJD855
Lake Eyre
19-Sep-2008100%-18°C
BGA6,200 (7.11 g)20+5-Oct-2010DJD1937
Lake Eyre
1-Jan-201280%-18°C
BGA6,900 (8.55 g)50+28-Oct-2013DJD1937
Lake Eyre
1-Jan-201695%-18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.