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Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Compositae
Helipterum pygmaeum

Citation: Benth., Fl. Aust. 3:647 (1867).

Synonymy: Pteropogon pygmaeum DC., Prod. 6:245 (1838); H. pygmaeum (DC.)Benth. var. occidentale Benth., Fl. Aust. 3:647 (1867).

Common name: Pigmy sunray.

Annual or ephemeral 2-10 cm high; stems several, ascending, simple or few-branched, glabrous to slightly cobwebby; leaves alternate, linear, acute, 0.5-2 cm long, c. 0.5 mm wide, glabrous above, slightly cobwebby below, with recurved margins.

Capitula subsessile in a dense terminal leafy cluster; involucre cylindrical with a broadened base, 7-10 mm long, 2-3-seriate, glabrous; outer bracts ovate, scarious, straw-coloured; inner bracts longer, oblong-lanceolate, scarious, subhyaline, usually with white spreading acute apices to 1 mm long; receptacle minute, flat; florets 3-6, 1-3 of them sterile.

Fertile achenes narrow-obovoid, 3-4 mm long, villous-sericeous; pappus bristles 20-30, hardly connate, c. 6 mm long, evenly plumose from the base, persistent; sterile achenes linear, glabrous, with a shorter pappus.

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 691.

Distribution:    W.Aust.; Qld; N.S.W.; Vic.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: June — Oct.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: The variety occidentale Benth., based on subglabrous specimens with vestigial bract apices from W.Aust., is not recognised in this flora treatment; there is a continuous gradation in vestiture and in the length of white bract apices in S.Aust. material.

Author: Not yet available

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