Lobed Bluebush
Vertical habit (grazed?)
Lobed Bluebush
S1: 2 months later, fruit drying
Lobed Bluebush (Maireana lobiflora)Class: Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida) - Small Bluebushes & Saltbushes
Order: Betalains (Caryophyllales)
Family: Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Lobed Bluebush (Maireana lobiflora)
This Photo:     🔍Whole, Fruit Laden🔎

Thank you Dr Kym Nicolson & Dave Albrecht for helping with the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
We originally found 1 specimen (marked S1 here). Years later we found a patch with various specimens. S1 never returned but is marked to show the history of it.
Maireana lobiflora has thin processes stemming vertically from the 5 lobed wing, and is woolly.
We've never been happy with the id of these as we can't find any splits in the wing, let alone 5 lobes; but we put this down to the woolly nature of the fruit.
The similar Maireana lanosa has a single split, but is sparsely woolly.
We do note, however, the wing is 5 sided (on our specimens), a pentagon of sorts. This is not obvious from above, and the sides aren't straight. We assumed, incorrectly, that the fuit possibly split later forming the 5 lobes. But a fruit we kept for a year never split.
We also noted that the specimens we find are generally prostrate with the ends of the stems lifting vertically near the tips, laden with fruit; almost akin to Ptilotus habit. However, we do find examples where they are small & vertical (possibly grazed, changing the habit), or totally prostrate.
Size is quite variable in width, recording ~220mm wide (often smaller), and ~30mm high (at the ends). In the centre it's closer to 10mm, so a very small "bush". The fruit is up to 6mm wide, with leaves between ~2-5mm
Generally the fruit appears at the end of the stems. At times it appears to be in the middle of a stem, but in these cases the main stem often branches with the fruit on a separate short stem. But there are occasional single fruits along the main stem.

Dave Albrecht, from CSIRO, kindly contacted us and let us know these are actually an undefined species, which he is currently working on describing.
We shall leave it named as is for the time being to help people find these pages until Dave completes his work and finallises the new name for them

Copyright © 2019-2023 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 26-Sep-2019
This species is classed as RA (Rare) in the Murray Mallee, SA, by DENR (Regional Species Status Assessments, July 2010)