Plants of
South Australia
Eryngium vesiculosum
Umbelliferae
Prostrate Blue Devil
Display all 18 images
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
Enlarge Map
Copy Map
Copy Map
Display IBRA region text

Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5.

Etymology

Eryngium from the Greco-Latin 'eryngion' meaning sea holly. May also be from the Greek 'eryngano' meaning to belch, as the plant was used as a remedy for flatulence. Vesiculosum from the Latin 'vesicula' meaning a bladder; referring to the bladder-like scales covering the fruit.

Distribution and status

Found scattered in South Australia, from the Lake Eyre region to the lower South-east, growing in sandy flats in low-lying damp areas. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Queensland. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Arid Lands, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Short-lived perennial herb with long, prostrate branches to 30 cm long. Basal leaves in a rosette, oblanceolate or oblong, to 15 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, with coarse spreading spiny teeth. Flower-head round or ovoid at terminal of stalk from basal rosette and nodes of the branches, with white to blue flowers. Flowering between December and March. Fruits are spiky, brown ovoid fruit-head. Seeds are brown ovoid seeds to 6 mm long and 4 mm wide, covered in bladder-like hairs and 2-3 spikes at one end. Seed embryo type is linear under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between February and May. Collect heads that are drying and turning a straw colour. Be careful as the plant can be very prickly. Collect more than what is required as not all seeds will be viable. Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the heads with a rubber bung and not with your hands as the heads are prickly. Then use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Use an aspirator (if available) to remove the lighter non-viable seeds from the heavy viable seeds. 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 were low to high, ranging from 30% to 80%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
1,000 (0.98 g)
1,500 (1.47 g)
5013-Feb-2006HPV3019
South Eastern
9-Aug-200630%-18°C
BGA950 (1.54 g)13-May-2009DJD1462
Southern Lofty
20-Jul-2009 -18°C
BGA2,700 (3.34 g)2529-Apr-2010TST937
South Eastern
1-Jun-201040%-18°C
BGA4,400 (5.8 g)50+29-Mar-2011DJD2181
Southern Lofty
1-Jan-201280%+5°C, -18°C
BGA4,700 (4.36 g)17-Jun-2015Chalks Creek
Southern Lofty
1-Jan-201675%-18°C, -80°C
BGA1,400 (1.3 g)3016-May-2016DJD3323
Southern Lofty
2-May-201735%-18°C
BGA9,400 (13.68 g)20+1-May-2019DJD2181
Southern Lofty
24-Jun-202070%-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.