Plants of
South Australia
Dicrastylis gilesii
Giles' Sand-sage
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Distribution by Herbarium region
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier

Prior names

Dicrastylis gilesii var. gilesii

Dicrastylis petermannensis

Dicrastylis gilesii var. bagotensis

Common names

Giles' Sand-sage


Dicrastylis from the Greek 'dicroos' meaning forked and 'stylos' meaning a style, alluding to the deeply 2-branched style. Gilesii named after William Ernest Powell Giles (1835-1897), an English born explorer and botanical collector in central Australia.

Distribution and status

Found in the far north-western corner in South Australia growing on rocky slopes & hillsides. Also found in Western Australia and Northern Territory. Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium region: North Western
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Tomentose shrub to 2 m high with erect branching, chiefly near the base stems; densely covered in greyish hairs; young branchlets with purplish or greenish-grey hairs. Leaves decussate, petiolate, elliptic-ovate, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate; entire to 8.5 cm long and 3 cm wide and up to 1.5 mm thick; densely tomentose,with young leaves with purplish or greenish-grey hairs; stalk to 1 cm long, densely tomentose. Flower-spike of cream- white flowers in pyramidal clusters in axils of leaves, with purplish-grey, purplish-cream or greenish-grey hairs. Fruits are creamy-white hairy fruit. Seeds are woody globular seed to 3 mm diameter, covered in silky hairs.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect mature fruits that are fate and creamy white. May need to collect a lot as most will not have any viable seeds. Place the fruit in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the dried fruits with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any 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.