Plants of
South Australia
Hibiscus brachysiphonius
Malvaceae
Low Hibiscus
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Rare
Vulnerable
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
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Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
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Oodnadatta
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Keith
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Etymology

Hibiscus from the Latin 'hibiscum' which is from the Ancient Greek 'hibiskos' a name for mallow-like plant and possibly used by the physician Dioscorides for marshmallow plant. Brachysiphonius from the Greek 'brachus' meaning short and 'siphon' meaning a tube; referring to the calyx lobes which are united in the lower part forming a short tube at the base.

Distribution and status

Found in the central and north-eastern parts of South Australia, growing on heavy soil in Chenopod plains, gibber plains and near breakaways. Also found in all mainland states. Native. Common in South Australia. Very rare in Victoria. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Low sometimes prostrate sub-shrub to 30 cm high, resprouting after rain from a perennial rootstock. Leaves green with scattered hairs, lower leaves obovate, crenate, upper leaves deeply 3-lobed, to 5 cm long and wide. Inflorescence solitary on a long stalk with pale pink flower, calyx lobes united in the lower part forming a short tube. Flowering between August and October. Fruits are brown globular, glabrous capsule to 12 mm long. Seed embryo type is folded.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and January. Collect capsules that are drying off and starting to turn brown. The seed inside should be brown and hard. Place the capsules into a tray and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the capsules 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. This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).

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

2,300 (9.58 g)
100+25-Sep-2008DJD1135
Lake Eyre
50%
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.