Plants of
South Australia
Petrophile multisecta
Proteaceae
Kangaroo Island Conesticks
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Petrophile from the Greek 'petra' meaning rock and 'philos' meaning lover, alluding to the species' rocky habitat. Multisecta from the Latin 'multus' meaning many and 'sectus' meaning divided, referring to the many divided leaves.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found only on Kangaroo Island, growing on lateritic or calcareous sands, in sclerophyll woodland and forest. Native. Common in South Australia.
Herbarium region: Kangaroo Island
NRM region: Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Small prickly shrub to 0.6 m or more high, with branchlets densely covered in grey hairs and reddish when young. Leaves divided many times; rigid, terete, to 8 cm long; glabrous with pungent tips. Inflorescence consisting of dense ellipsoid cones of yellow flowers in the forks of branchlets. Flowering between October and February. Fruits are greyish brown ellipsoid cone to 4 cm long. Seed embryo type is investing.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect cones that are matured, turning brown, to ensure mature seed. Be care fully when collecting the cones as the plant is very prickly. Wearing gloves is recommended. Place the cones in a tray and leave to dry for 2 weeks. Then rub the dried heads with a rubber bung to dislodge the fruits. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Seeds are enclosed in the hard fruit and can be stored as is. Store the fruit with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

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

3,500 (22.05 g)
100+24-Jan-2007DJD754
Kangaroo Island
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.