|Class:||Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida) - Shrubs & Bushes|
|Family:||Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae) iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Rosy Bluebush (Maireana erioclada)|
Thank you Dr Kym Nicolson for confirming the id of this species for us
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
Deep pink/red fruits which are flat with a tiny back centre, that becomes fury/woolly/wooly as it matures. The black centre is actually the dried remnants of the flower. The fruit appear flat with one horizontal "wing"; but in outline are cup shaped (when taking the rear vertical wings into account).
The fruits are diagnostic, as they are with all the bluebush; they have a single slit in the "wing" which is very hard to spot. The 5 fins (vertical wings) at the back, supporting the horizontal wing (at the front) are more obvious.
The leaves are alternating, glabrous (smooth & hairless), succulent and cylindrical (obovoid to clavate) with a tiny soft point at the tip. The size of the leaves, as well as quantity, relates directly to how wet or dry it has been.
As the leaves age, they turn from solid green to pink/red tips.
They turn black & shrivel over summer as the plant extracts moisture to survive; leaving a grey shell until the winter rains come.
Stems are covered in white fury/wool