Ellura Sanctuary, Swan Reach, SA, 5354
Thumbnails: 100.   15 native species (0 introduced) listed, with 10 natives (0 introduced) from Ellura
Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida) - Betalains (Caryophyllales) - Amaranth (Amaranthaceae); 3 species, 2 from Ellura
Pink Mulla Mulla
Ptilotus exaltatus

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Thank you Darren Schmitke & Dr Timothy Hammer for identifying and Dr Miguel de Salas for helping with the id of this species for us

Darren invited us to a local reserve to show us some stunning species exploding after a fire 2.5 years ago. When we found this Darren told us it was Mulla Mulla.
However trying to nail down the binomial name presented a challenge.
It turns out the taxonomy of Ptilotus has been a bit of a mess. Some on-line systems still haven't caught up. At one point this was P. exaltatus var exaltatus, then was moved to Ptilotus nobilis ssp nobilis, but then the other sub-species of P. nobilis were moved elsewhere and this defaulted to P. nobilis.
Miguel highlighted this to us on iNaturalist.
Then Timothy wrote a paper clarifying it's taxonomic position back to P. exaltatus.
Well at least the common name didn't change
Imaged 2 in Sep
🔍Flower & Bud
🔍Flower Close Up
🔍Flower with old Fruit
Ptilotus seminudus

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Thank you Dr Timothy Hammer for confirming the id of this species for us

Very variable in colour; from bright green to deep red.
Main difference with Pussy Tails is the leaf shape.
Imaged 17(1B,3Fl) in Mar(1), Aug(1), Sep(6:1B,1Fl), Oct(8:2Fl) & Nov(1)
🔍In Flower
In Flower, Profile
Young Flower
Mature Flower
Ptilotus spathulatus
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SynonymPtilotus spathulatus forma spathulatus

Other Common NamesCat's Paw or Mulla Mulla

Small sprawling forb with green, purple and red coloured leaves.
The "flowers" grow on the end of long stems that lay on the ground well away from the root. They then stand up like little x-mas trees. The flowers are soft and don't have petals. They look more like seed heads.
Imaged 14(1B,2Fl) in Jun(1B), Jul(1), Aug(2), Sep(4:1Fl), Oct(4:1Fl) & Nov(2)
Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida) - Betalains (Caryophyllales) - Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae); 12 species, 8 from Ellura
Cannonball Burr
Dissocarpus paradoxus

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Other Common NameBall Bindyi

Similar Species: Woolly-fruit Bluebush (Eriochiton sclerolaenoides)
Thank you Dr Kym Nicolson for confirming the id of this species for us

A small plant that was abundant in the area.
The burrs are quite large at ~12mm diameter (to the spine tips) and very distinctive; being a woolly ball.
The flowers are petalless, with just long anthers poking out of the wool.
The fruiting body then forms under the woolly ball.
Imaged 4 in Oct
Flower Finishing
Fruit Forming
Old Fruit Capsule
Climbing Saltbush
Einadia nutans ssp nutans
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Other Common NameNodding saltbush

Would never have picked this as a salt bush.
We were convinced it was some sort of pea, related to the common flat-pea (Platylobium obtusangulum) because of the triangular / 3-point / spade / arrowhead leaves.
But we were browsing through Entwood Sanctuary's species list, finding photo's on the web for species we haven't seen and there it was, triangular leaves with 3 points! Identified by chance, but we'll take the win

Light green leaves going darker with age, tiny green ball flowers and bright red berry fruits.
Imaged 7(2Fl) in Apr(1), May(1), Jun(3:2Fl) & Jul(2)
New Growth
Salt Crystals
Bunch of Flowers & Springtail
Flowers becoming Fruit
Flowers becoming Fruit
Fruit, Back
Fruit Stem
Woolly-fruit Bluebush
Eriochiton sclerolaenoides

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SynonymMaireana sclerolaenoides

Other Common NamesWooly-fruit Copperburr, Woolly-fruit Copperburr or Woolly Bindii

Similar Species: Cannonball Burr (Dissocarpus paradoxus)
Thank you Dr Kym Nicolson for confirming the id of this species for us

Imaged 46(4Fl,1Fr) in Mar(3), Apr(7), May(2), Jun(3:1Fl,1Fr), Jul(8:2Fl), Aug(7), Sep(6:1Fl) & Oct(10)
In Flower
In Fruit
New Growth in Flower
Wingless Fissure-plant
Maireana enchylaenoides
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Imaged 12(1Fl,2Fr) in Apr(2:1Fl,2Fr), May(1), Sep(4), Oct(3) & Nov(2)
In Flower & Fruit, sideways
Leaf, ~11mm, & Stem
2 Flowers, ~2mm high & round
Fruit forming
Fruit, front, ~4mm wide
🔍Fruit, front
Fruit, profile
Lobed Bluebush
Maireana lobiflora

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

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

Imaged 15(1Fl,3Fr) in Mar(2), Apr(1:1Fl,1Fr), Jul(2Fr), Aug(3), Sep(6) & Oct(1)
🔍Whole, heavily procumbent
🔍Whole, slightly procumbent
🔍S1, Whole, almost decumbent
🔍Vertical habit (grazed?)
🔍Whole, Fruit Laden
🔍S1, 2 months later, fruit drying
🔍S1, Leaves, ~5mm long
🔍S1, 6 Flowers, ~2mm wide each
🔍S1, Several Older Flowers
S1, Flower, stamen & anther
🔍S1, Fruit, profile, Leaf & Stem
🔍S1, Fruit, isometric view
🔍Fruit, above
🔍Less Woolly Fruit, above
🔍Less Woolly Fruit, profile
🔍5 Sided Fruit, back
🔍Bunch of Fruit
Hairy-fruit Bluebush
Maireana trichoptera

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Other Common NameMallee Bluebush

Thank you Dr Kym Nicolson for confirming the id of this species for us

Imaged 72(7Fl,34Fr) in Apr(1), May(1), Jun(1:1Fl,1Fr), Jul(4:3Fl,1Fr), Aug(21:2Fl,12Fr), Sep(31:1Fl,13Fr) & Oct(13:7Fr)
Fruit, front
Fruit, back & Red Stem
Salsola australis

SynonymsSalsola kali or Salsola tragus

Other Common NamesPrickly Rolypoly, Prickly Saltwort, Roly Poly, Russian Thistle, Saltwort or Soft Roly-poly

Thank you Andrew Allanson for identifying and Dr Kym Nicolson & Alan Dandie for confirming the id of this species for us

What an intriguing plant this is. Long considered to be an introduced plant, studies proved this to be a native and various forms of it have been DNA tested and all link back to the same species.
It has petalless flowers, that can be green or red, with 5-lobed pale-green fruits somewhat similar to bluebush (Maireana sp); which makes sense as it's in the same family (Chenopodiaceae).
It's instantly recognisable in broad acre farming regions from the car, but looks incredibly different in it's early stages & smaller sizes.
It isn't so wide spread in native habitats. Generally considered a pest, but a native just the same that should not be removed from native sites.
It has as many common names as habits

Imaged 11 in Feb(1), Mar(2), Apr(1), Jun(1), Jul(2), Aug(1) & Oct(3)
🔍Small Mature Plant
🔍Small Young Branching Plant
🔍Small Bush, with size
🔍Small Habit
🔍Young Larger Plant Habit
🔍Red Stems, in bud
🔍Large Plant in Flower & Fruit
🔍Large Plant in Flower & Fruit
🔍Red Flower
🔍Green Flowers
🔍Fruits & Habit
🔍Fruit Close Up
🔍From last year
🔍As we all know & love
Small-leaf Bindyi
Sclerolaena brevifolia

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Similar Species: Oblique-spined Bindyi (Sclerolaena obliquicuspis)
Thank you Tony and Jenny Dominelli for confirming the id of this species for us

Leaves here are short ~2-3mm long (hence the binomial name), spines ~5mm long. The whole plant is ~300mm high. Spines are not in the same plane; they are oblique to each other.
It's difficult to separate from Oblique-spined Bindyi (Sclerolaena obliquicuspis) as that species can have small young leaves at the tips as well. It's important to look at the entire plant looking for long mature leaves at the base.
This plant is also less hairy than S. obliquicuspis.
Overall this plant looks more thorny as the leaves are very short compared to the spines.
Imaged 23(1Fr) in Jan(1), Feb(1), Apr(2), May(2), Jun(2), Jul(3), Aug(2), Sep(5) & Oct(5:1Fr)
🔍Whole, profile
🔍Leaves & Thorns
Grey Bindyi
Sclerolaena diacantha

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Other Common NamesGrey Bindii, Grey Bindi, Grey Bindi-eye, Grey Copperburr or Grey Copper-burr

Thank you Dr Kym Nicolson for confirming the id of this species for us

Imaged 35(4Fr) in Jan(2), Mar(2:1Fr), Apr(4), May(4), Jun(3:1Fr), Jul(2), Aug(6:1Fr), Sep(4) & Oct(8:1Fr)
Large & sprawling
Small & upright
Structure, with 2 pronged fruit
Dried showing spiky fruit
Resprounting from an old plant
Oblique-spined Bindyi
Sclerolaena obliquicuspis

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Other Common NamesI'm sure it's a weed, Owwwww that hurts, Limestone Bindii or Limestone Copperburr

Similar Species: Small-leaf Bindyi (Sclerolaena brevifolia)
Thank you Dr Kym Nicolson & Tony and Jenny Dominelli for confirming the id of this species for us

Mature leaves here are ~6-10mm long, spines ~5mm long. The whole plant is ~400mm high. Spines are not in the same plane; they are oblique (hence the binomial name) to each other.
Difficult to see, but the thorns are twisted compared to the plane of the fruit. The spines can be somewhat hidden amoung the leaves as the mature leaves (at the base of the plant) are long compared to the length of the spines.
Tricky to separate from the S. brevifolia as the young leaves at the top of the plant can be similar in length (compared to the thorns/spines).
This plant is more hairy than O. brevifolia.

Also similar to Sclerolaena patenticuspis: Mature leaves here are ~5-10mm long, spines ~4-7mm long. The whole plant is ~200mm high. Spines are in the same plane.
Imaged 26(1Fl,2Fr) in Apr(3), May(3:1Fr), Jul(5:1Fl,1Fr), Aug(3), Sep(6), Oct(5) & Nov(1)
🔍Fruit on Stem
🔍Fruit on Stem
🔍Mature Fruit, profile
🔍Mature Fruit, dorsal
Small-flower Bindyi
Sclerolaena parviflora

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Other Common NameMallee Copperbur

Thank you Dr Kym Nicolson for confirming the id of this species for us

Imaged 11 in Jul(5), Aug(1), Sep(3) & Oct(2)
🔍Leaves & Fruit
Tecticornia sp
Imaged 1 in Oct

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