Plants of
South Australia
Cheiranthera alternifolia
Pittosporaceae
Hand-flower
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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
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5.

Etymology

Cheiranthera from the Greek 'cheir' meaning hand and 'anthera' meaning anther, referring to the five anthers resembling fingers. Alternifolia from Latin meaning alternate leaves.

Distribution and status

Found in southern South Australia, from the southern Eyre Peninsula to the lower South-east. It was also known in Victoria from 2 collections, most recent being from 1890. It is presumed extinct in that State. Native. Common in South Australia.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

A weak perennial shrub to 50 cm tall and usually growing through other plants. It has long linear leaves and large dark blue-purple flowers at the tip. The yellow anthers are arranged like fingers on a hand. Flowering between September and November. Fruits are long brown capsule to 18 mm long, with numerous seeds inside. Seeds are shiny small, red-brown reniform seeds to 2.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and January. Collect capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Capsules may be collected green if the seeds are hard and red-brown. Place the capsules in a tray and cover with paper towels to prevent the seeds popping out and leave to dry for a week. Then carefully rub the dried capsules by hand to prevent damaging the seeds as the seedcoat is thin. Use a sieve to remove 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 one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
23,400 (16.38 g)
7,000 (4.86 g)
30-Dec-2005PJA100
Murray
20-Jul-2009100%-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.
Germination table:
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