Kath Alcock paintings: 2
Cryptandra from the Greek 'kryptos' meaning hidden and 'andros' meaning a man, referring to the hidden anthers in the hood-shaped petals. Hispidula from Latin meaning covered with minute stiff hairs or fine bristles.
Distribution and status
Endemic to South Australia and found only on Kangaroo Island and the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, growing in damp heaths and woodlands. Native. Common in South Australia.
Herbarium regions: Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Small perennial shrub to 30 cm high with rather rough branches covered in stellate hairs. Leaves clustered, terete, yo 6 mm long and 0.5 mm thick, more or less glabrous, margins revolute, concealing the undersurface. Inflorescence sessile with 1 or 2-8 white flowers in terminal heads surrounded by leafy bracts. Flower tubular, to 6 mm long, subtended at the base by 4 or 5 lanceolate-acuminate ciliate brown bracts nearly half that length, silky and stellate-hairy outside. Sepals much shorter than the floral tube with style nearly as long as the flower, stellate-hairy toward the base, dilated downward into the conical summit of the half-inferior ovary. Flowering throughout the year. Fruits are brown capsule. Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between January and December. Collect fruit heads that are darkening and have a fluffy appearance. Rub the flower parts in your palm to see if there is any seed, which should be yellow-brown and hard. Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the heads with your hands or a rubber bung 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 can be low. This species has morphophysiological dormancy that need to be overcome for the seed to germinate.