Erect Mallee Bluebush
Fruit, profile
Erect Mallee Bluebush
Fruit New-Top Old-Bottom
Erect Mallee Bluebush (Maireana pentatropis)Class: Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida) - Shrubs & Bushes
Order: Betalains (Caryophyllales)
Family: Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Erect Mallee Bluebush (Maireana pentatropis)
This Photo:     🔍Fruit, profile with Split🔎

Thank you Dr Kym Nicolson & Tony and Jenny Dominelli for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), the Riverland and elsewhere
Cylindrical, succulent, hairless, green leaves on long woolly stems. Plants can be a single stem to 1m high, or multiples, and they can also be small and bushy. Generally healthier plants are tall and lanky, with grazed/damaged/young plants are bushy. Seedlings & young leaves are covered in fine hair making them look quite fluffy. Flowers are tiny white at the base of the leaves on the stem.
As with other Maireanas, in summer the plant takes nutrients from the leaves, leaving the leaves to shrivel up into black husk.
The fruit is similar to Rosy Bluebush (M. ericolada) on first appearance. It's best to find mature fruits to separate them. Here, the fruit looks like it's pinched in the middle, on the top, with white hairs/fur poking out. The back of the fruit has small fins which are very difficult to see on fruit laden stems. When young, the fins meet the wing on the extremities, but with age the wing expands hiding the fins.

Copyright © 2014-2023 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 01-Oct-2014
This species is classed as LC (Least Concern) in the Murray Mallee, SA, by DENR (Regional Species Status Assessments, July 2010)