Plants of
South Australia
Euphorbia tannensis ssp. eremophila
Euphorbiaceae
Bottle Tree Caustic
Display all 19 images
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
Enlarge Map
Copy Map
Copy Map
Display IBRA region text

Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 8.

Etymology

Euphorbia named given to an African species by Juba (46 B.C.-19 or 20 A.D.), King of Mauritania, in honour of his Greek physician, Euphorbus, who had discovered its medical uses. Tannensis meaning of or from Tanna, New Hebrides (now known as Republic of Vanuatu) where the species was first collected. Eremophila from the Greek 'eremophiles' meaning loving solitude or desert; referring to the subspecies habitat.

Distribution and status

Found across South Australia except on Kangaroo Island and the South-east, growing on heavy clay soils of river and floodplains or skeletal hillside soils, from open grass plains to mulga communities. Also found in all mainland states. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect annual or perennial shrub to 50 cm high. Lower stems and branches becoming woody, upper branches green, glaucous. Leaves alternate below, subopposite in upper parts, linear to narrow-ovate, to 70 mm long and 7 mm wide, acute to obtuse, base cuneate, margins entire or serrulate. Flowers solitary, terminal or axillary, small yellow-green. Flowers most of the year. Fruits are smooth green, ovoid-globose capsule to 5 mm long and wide, erect with 3 cells,1 seed in each cell. Seeds are yellow-brown rectangular seed to 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide with a granular, mottled surface and a hat-shaped aril. Seed embryo type is spatulate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect whole stems bearing maturing capsules, those that are fat and turning pale green and contain hard seeds. Be careful when collecting the stems or capsules as the sap can be caustic. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules by hand or with a rubber bung 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 are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
 
MSB

1,700 (6.2 g)
~2019-May-2007RJB71968
Gairdner-Torrens
 
MSB

3,500 (9.61 g)
50+16-May-2014DJD2906
North Western
65%
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.