Plants of
South Australia
Conospermum patens
Proteaceae
Slender Smoke-bush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.

Etymology

Conospermum from the Latin 'conus' meaning a cone and 'spermum' meaning a seed; alluding to the obconical nuts. Patens means spreading; alluding to the species habit.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia, from the southern Eyre Peninsula to the lower South-east, growing in sandy rarely clay soil in sclerophyllous shrubland or woodland. Also foun in Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect shrub to 2 m high with white-pubescent branches. Leaves widely spreading, distally upturned, linear to linear-oblanceolate, to 25 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, glabrescent. Flower-spikes terminal or in the upper axils with dense white, grey-blue or lilac flowers. Flowering between April and January. Fruits are pale brown fruit cluster at end of stalk, each with a number of seeds. Seeds are cone-shaped nut to 2.5 mm long, covered in short golden brown hairs with a ring of longer hairs around the margin of the cone. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and February. Collecting mature fruit-heads, those turning brown and contain hard seeds. Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the dried heads with your hands 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. From two collections, the seed viability was average, ranging from 50% to 55%.

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
1,700 (3.95 g)
1,700 (3.95 g)
8014-Dec-2005DJD279
Southern Lofty
8-Aug-200655%-18°C
BGA4,800 (8.04 g)14-Dec-2005TEE9
Kangaroo Island
10-Aug-200950%-18°C
BGA1,700 (5.98 g)30+21-Nov-2011KHB615
Southern Lofty
1-Nov-201276%-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.