Plants of
South Australia
Leucopogon costatus
Twiggy Beard-heath
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3

Prior names

Styphelia costata


Leucopogon, from the Greek 'leukoni', meaning white and 'pogon' , meaning beard, alluding to the white-bearded corolla lobes. Costatus, from the Latin 'costa', meaning rib, referring to the prominent nerves on the underside of the leaves.

Distribution and status

Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the upper South-east in South Australia growing in mallee and Banksia scrub and in mallee heathland on sandy soil or on ironstone rubble. Also found in Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Slender, erect or straggling shrub to 70 cm high. Leaves erect, stem-clasping at the base, spreading or recurred at the apex; ovate, to 5 mm long and 3.2 mm wide; apex tapering into a thickened blunt point; margins sometimes incurved, densely hairy; lamina thin, concave,;surfaces, glabrous below with conspicuous veins. Inflorescence spikes to 6 mm long at the tip and in the uppermost axils; solitary, or in dense clusters with 1-4 white tubular densely bearded flowers, pink in bud. Flowering between July and October. Fruits are flattened sphere to 1.3 mm long and 2 mm wide, ridged. Seed embryo type is linear, under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and December. Collect berries that are white with a hard seed. Place the berries in a bucket of water and leave to soak over night. Rub the flesh off by hand. Drain and wash again if required to remove all the fleshy parts. Then spread the wet seeds onto paper towels and leave to dry. 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. This species has morpho-physiological dormancy and is difficult to germinate.