Rosy Bluebush
Leaves, drying
Rosy Bluebush
Flowers, ~2mm wide
Rosy Bluebush (Maireana erioclada)Class: Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida) - Shrubs & Bushes
Order: Betalains (Caryophyllales)
Family: Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Rosy Bluebush (Maireana erioclada)
This Photo:     🔍Flowers, new🔎

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

Copyright © 2013-2023 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 01-Jul-2013
This species is classed as LC (Least Concern) in the Murray Mallee, SA, by DENR (Regional Species Status Assessments, July 2010)