Plants of
South Australia
Nicotiana burbidgeae
Solanaceae
Dalhousie Springs Tobacco-bush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
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Extinct
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Etymology

Nicotiana ,named after Jean Nicot (1530-1600), a French Ambassador for the King of France to Lisbon in 1560, who sent the first tobacco plant to France. Burbidgeae named after Miss Nancy Tyson Burbidge (1912-1977), for her contributions to taxonomic botany in Australia.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found only in the south-east end of the Dalhousie Springs complex in Witjira National Park, growing along arid creeklines that may be sub-saline and gypseous. Native. Rare in South Australia.
Herbarium region: Lake Eyre
NRM region: South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect leafy annual or short lived perennial herb to at 75 cm high; covered in hairs and with several branches near base. Leaves mostly cauline; basal ones to 10 cm long and 7 cm wide; oval with apex obtuse; base broadly attached; leaves of the middle stem region smaller, rather more obovate; gradually decreasing in size upwards with all, rather thick and relatively fleshy. Inflorescence of solitary white tubular flowers is distributed along upper parts of leafy stems. Flowering between June and September. Fruits are papery brown, ovate capsule to 12 mm long, about equal to enveloping calyx; splitting by 2 major and 2 minor fissures. Seeds are dark brown reniform seed to 1.2 mm long and 0.8 mm wide, covered in a net-like surface. Seed embryo type is linear, fully-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and December. Collect mature capsules that are brown or turning a pale yellow straw-colour and contain brown seeds. Can collect individual capsules or break off the whole fruit spike. Capsules that are open may still contain a good quantity of seeds. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two 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. From three collections, the seed viability was high, ranging form 90% to 100%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA41,000 (9.92 g)30+3-Sep-2015DJD3167
Lake Eyre
2-May-2017100%+5°C, -18°C, -80°C
BGA 
MSB
58,000 (13.95 g)
58,000 (13.95 g)
50+1-Sep-2015TST1208
Lake Eyre
2-May-201790%+5°C, -18°C, -80°C
BGA188,000 (48.54 g)50+20-Sep-2016DJD3437
Lake Eyre
1-Nov-2017100%+5°C, -18°C, -80°C
BGA57,250 (14.1 g)515-Jan-2020TST1443
Lake Eyre
24-Jun-2020100%-18°C, -80°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.
Germination table:
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