Plants of
South Australia
Adenanthos macropodianus
Pink Gland-flower,
Kangaroo Island Gland-flower
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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

Adenanthos macropodiana, orth.var.

Adenanthos sericea var. brevifolia

Adenanthos sericea ?var. brevifolia

Adenanthos barbata, nom.inval. pro syn., orth.var.

Adenanthos sericea, orth.var.

Common names

Pink Gland-flower

Kangaroo Island Gland-flower


Adenanthos from the Greek 'aden' meaning a gland and 'anthos' meaning a flower, referring to the prominent nectaries at the base of the ovary. Macropodianus from the Greek 'macros' meaning large and 'podos' meaning foot, referring to the flowers resembling the paws of a kangaroo (or may relate to the genus Macropus to which all terrestrial kangaroos belong), referring to the fact that the species is found only on Kangaroo Island.)

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found only on Kangaroo island, growing on sandy lateritic and calcareous soils in sclerophyllous shrublands. Native. Common in South Australia.
Herbarium region: Kangaroo Island
NRM region: Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Prostrate to erect shrub to 3 m tall with erect hairy branchlets. Leaves densely clustered at branchlet tips and scattered below, to 17 mm long including the petiole, with persistent ash-white hairs. Inflorescences with 2 or 3, in groups with red-pink rarely yellow flowers, exceeding the surrounding leaves. Flowers throughout the year. Fruits are green cylindrical capsule surrounded by leaves. Seeds are cylindrical greenish-brown seed to 6.5 mm long and 2.5 mm wide, with a ring of white hairs at one end. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect capsules that are large and inflated. Capsules are difficult to find as they are hidden among the leaves. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the capsules gently 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. Seed viability is usually low and seed availability can also be very low and difficult to find. This species has morphophysiological dormancy and can be difficult to germinate.