Plants of
South Australia
Phlegmatospermum eremaeum
Cruciferae
Spreading Cress
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Etymology

Phlegmatospermum from the Greek 'phlegma' meaning inflammation and 'sperma' meaning a seed, referring to the mucous seeds. Eremaeum from the Greek 'eremos' meaning desert and suffix 'eum' meaning belonging to, referring to the habitat of the species in semi-arid areas.

Distribution and status

Scattered distributions on the Nullarbor and in the north-eastern and central parts of South Australia, growing in open mallee on calcareous clay or loam. Also found in Western Australia and Victoria. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Uncommon in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula
NRM regions: Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Annual herbs, mostly prostrate to spreading, with slender stems to 10 cm long, covered in appressed hairs. Basal leaves in rosette, to 4 cm long; pinnately lobed or scalloped, rarely entire; stem leaves obovate, to 2 cm long, toothed. Inflorescence a dense cluster with white or cream flowers, sometimes with purple bases and veins. Flowering between July and November. Fruits are brown spoon-shaped pod to 4 mm long, not winged, apex slightly notched, valves hairy with hairs often on a tuberculate base. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and December. 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.

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
2,900 (0.8 g)
2,900 (0.8 g)
50+20-Sep-2017DJD3659
Murray
30-Jun-201890%-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.