Centrolepis from the Greek 'kentron' meaning a spur and 'lepis' meaning, scale, referring to the points on the bracts of Centrolepis fascicularis, the type specimen for the genus. Strigosa from Latin meaning with bristles closely covered with pointed bristles, alluding to the inflorescence covered with long, multicelled, rigid hairs.
Distribution and status
Found in the southern part of South Australia from the Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula to the lower South-east, growing in mallee, heath, scrub, woodland and open forest, on sand and other infertile soils. Also found in all states except in the Northern Territory. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Annual tufted herb to 7 cm high, bright-green with numerous leaves crowded evenly to form a neat hemispherical tuft. Leaves to 40 mm long, erect, straight to curved, and thread-like, moderately (sometimes sparsely) hairy. Inflorescence borne on an axis, with flowers mostly held above the leaves, bracts slightly spreading, only just exceeding the length of the inflorescence, covered with long, multicelled, rigid hairs, both bracts with a basal sheath to 2.5 mm long, both tapering into a straight lamina. Lower bract inserted 0.5–1 mm below the upper one, and slightly longer than upper bract. Inflorescence units 5–10 per head-like cluster. Flowering between September and November. Fruits are small brown ovoid head at end of long stalk. Seeds are small red-brown ovoid seed to 0.5 mm and 0.3 mm wide. Seed embryo type is broad.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between November and December. Collect fruit heads that are starting to dry off and turning pale straw colour by picking then off with your fingers. Place the heads in a tray for 1-2 week to dry. Then rub the heads with your hands or a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Pass the material through a sieve to separate the unwanted material. The finer material will contain both seeds (soft) and frass (hard) usually distinguishable from each other. With finer sieves, the seeds can be separated from the frass but this is not essential for storage or propagation. 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 high.