Plants of
South Australia
Hibiscus krichauffianus
Malvaceae
Velvet-leaved Hibiscus (Purar-purarpa)
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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
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Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Hibiscus, from the Latin 'hibiscum' which is from the Ancient Greek 'hibiskos', a name for a mallow-like plant and possibly used by the physician Dioscorides for marshmallow plant. Krichauffianus named after Friedrich Edouard Heinrich Wulf Krichauff (1824-1904), a Danish-born South Australian politician, agriculturalist and a friend of Ferdinand von Mueller.

Distribution and status

Found across the northern part of South Australia, growing on sand dunes, sandy rises and sand plain. Also found in all mainland States. Native. Common in South Australia. Very rare in Victoria. Rare in Western Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Shrub to 90 cm high; pale-grey from the dense velvety hairs. Leaves densely hairy, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, to 40 mm long and 15 mm wide; margin serrated. Inflorescence, solitary pale lilac or light purple flower. Flowers throughout the year. Fruits are hairy brown globular capsule to 10 mm long, enclosed by the fruiting calyx. Seeds are dark brown reniform seed to 3 mm long and 2 mm wide, covered in long white hairs. Seed embryo type is folded.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. 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. From two collections, the seed viability was high, at 100%. 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
BGA 
MSB
2,700 (9.75 g)
2,700 (9.75 g)
120+22-Oct-2004MOL4549
Gairdner-Torrens
28-Mar-2006100%-18°C
BGA550 (1.17 g)103-Apr-2007RJB71363
Eastern
19-Sep-2008100%-18°C
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.