Plants of
South Australia
Teucrium teucriiflorum
Red-berried Stick-plant,
Bead Bush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1

Prior names

Spartothamnella teucriiflora

Spartothamnus teucriiflorus

Common names

Red-berried Stick-plant

Bead Bush


Spartothamnella from the Greek 'spartos' meaning a cord and 'thamnos' meaning a bush; possibly alluding to the plant's similarity to the Spanish broom, spartos, so named because it was used for cord making. Teucriiflora from the genus Teurcium (from the Greek 'teucrion', a name used by Dioscorides possibly after Teucer, a Trojan king who used the plant as a medicine or possibly for Dr Teucer, a botanist and physician) and Latin 'flora' meaning flower; referring to the similarity of the flowers to the genus Teucrium.

Distribution and status

Found in the north-western part of South Australia, growing on sandy, clay & loamy, often stony soils in plains and floodplains. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

A semi-climbing shrub to 1.5 m high, stem and branches hairy grey when young, later almost glabrous and leafless. Leaves long, linear-lanceolate or narrowly ovate-lanceolate, to 25 mm long and 4 mm broad, glabrous above, pubescent below. Flowers axillary with 1-3 creamy-white flowers, lobes pointing in one direction. Flowering between August and November. Fruits are round, shiny, black fleshy berry to 5 mm diameter, green when young. Seeds are pale brown sectoroid seed to 4 mm long and 2 mm wide, with a plug on one side.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and December. Collect berries that are matured, black and soft. 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.