ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Natural populations

Vittadinia cuneata is a widespread, woody annual or perennial herb growing up to 10–40 cm high. It grows in grasslands, and in the understorey of eucalypt forest and woodland. The variation recognised in this species is described in detail by Burbidge 1982) as var. cuneata f. minor, var. cuneata f. cuneata, var. hirsuta, var. morrisii, var. murrayensis [79]. In Victoria, the difference between the two morphological forms of f. cuneata and f. minor cannot be distinguished geographically or ecologically [16].  It is possible that var. morrisii is a hybrid between var. cuneata and Vittadinia gracilis and further investigation is warranted [16]. Vittadinia cuneata var. murrayensis is restricted to a few locations in South Australia, on roadsides and woodland, in disturbed environments. The variant that occurs in Tasmania, f. cuneata, is classified as rare.

Flowering and seeds

This species flowers and sets seed in the warmer months of spring – summer. Seed are shed quickly in 3-14 days, at maturity [11]. The seed for Vittadinia appears to require no pre-treatment for successful germination [90]. Germination usually occurs in 1-3 weeks [11]. Vittadinia cuneata is a pioneer, that quickly and easily germinates in response to disturbances.  Twelve months of after ripening, in ambient conditions, may improve germination [pers. comm. Paul Gibson-Roy, Grassy Groundcover Project].

Cultivation and uses

The plants are not particularly palatable, but eaten by stock when alternative feed is scarce [11]. In cultivation, if the plant is tip pruned, it will promote re-flowering and seeding.

Key descriptors:

Var. cuneata f. cuneata:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 600-1100 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 8-21 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 23-33 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: -2-8 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): 3. greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 10-1200 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Wind: tolerates salt-laden coastal winds
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, light to medium clay (35-50% clay), loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil depth: skeletal to shallow (less than 30 cm) or moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage: well-drained or seasonally waterlogged
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in texture: cracking clay or clayey
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: annual herb or evergreen perennial herb or shrub less than 2 m tall
Growth rate: fast
Root system: shallow and spreading

Var. cuneata f. minor:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall): 500-1150 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 7-19 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 23-29 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: -1-3 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): 3. greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 150-1300 metres
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: annual herb or evergreen perennial herb or shrub less than 2 m tall

Var. hirsuta:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 250-1250 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 10-24 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 24-36 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 0-9 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 100-1250 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, heavy clay (greater than 50% clay), light to medium clay (35-50% clay) or loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam
Soil depth: skeletal to shallow (less than 30 cm) or moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: annual herb or evergreen perennial herb or shrub less than 2 m tall
Growth rate: fast
Root system: shallow and spreading

Var. morrisii:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 200-600 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 9-23 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 29-34 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 1-3 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 50-700 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam or loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: annual herb or evergreen perennial herb or shrub less than 2 m tall
Growth rate: fast
Root system: shallow and spreading

Var. murrayensis:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 300-550 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: winter
Mean annual temperature: 8-21 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 29-31 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 4-4 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 50-350 metres
Soil factors
Texture: loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: annual herb or evergreen perennial herb or shrub less than 2 m tall

References

[11] Kent K, Earl G, Mullins B, Lunt I, Webster R (2002) Native Vegetation Guide for the Riverina: notes for land managers on its management and revegetation. Charles Sturt University, NSW.

[14] Stanley TD, Ross EM (1983 to 1995) Plants of South-East Queensland. Volumes 1-3, Queensland Government, Brisbane.

[16] Walsh NG, Entwisle TJ (1994 - 1999) Flora of Victoria. Volume 2 - 4, Inkata Press, Melbourne.

[52] Lazarus E, Lawrence N, Potts W (2003) Threatened Flora of Tasmania. Threatened Species Unit DPIWE, Tasmania. (Online resource) http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/ThreatenedFloraCD/ (Accessed: September 2007).

[79] Burbidge NT (1982) A revision of Vittadinia A.Rich (Compositae) together with reinstatement of Eurybiopsis DC and Description of a New Genus, Camptacra. Brunonia 5, 1-72.

[90] Flynn S, Turner RM, Dickie JB (2004) Seed Information Database (Release 7.0, October 2006). (Online database) http://www.kew.org/data/sid/ (Accessed: July 2007).

Internet links

PlantNet NSW Flora Online – species description & distribution: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Vittadinia~cuneata

FloraBase Western Australia Flora Online – species description & distribution: http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/8263;http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/14431

Threatened Flora of Tasmania: http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/ThreatenedFloraCD/Vittadinia%20cuneata.pdf

South Australia Flora Online – species description & distribution: http://www.flora.sa.gov.au/cgi-bin/texhtml.cgi?form=speciesfacts&family=Compositae&genus=Vittadinia&species=cuneata

Top