Ptilotus erubescens Schltdl.

Hairy Tails

Linnaea 20: 575 (1847) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:listed in Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Deeply taprooted herb, with 1–several ascending to erect, usually unbranched stems to c. 30 cm high. Stems pubescent, at least in upper part. Basal leaves usually numerous, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, to 10 cm long, 3 mm wide; stem leaves shorter and relatively broader. Spike globoid to ovoid, to 4 cm long, 3 cm diam. (see note below), white, greyish, or tinged pink; bract and bracteoles ovate, 6–12 mm long, acute, straw-coloured; perianth 12–16 mm long, curved upwards at or after anthesis; tepals free almost to base, outer surface densely silky-hairy except for apical 1–3 mm, pink just below apex, inner surface glabrous except for loose woolly tuft at base; fertile stamens 4; ovary sessile, woolly at apex, style eccentric. Flowers Nov.–Feb.

CVU, DunT, Glep, Gold, GGr, LoM, MuF, MuM, NIS, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Also SA, NSW. Occasional on relatively fertile soils supporting grassland and woodland communities in northern and western Victoria, but not in mallee areas.

A population of aberrant plants with etiolated, narrowly cylindric spikes to c. 12 cm long was located near Boort in 1993. They were growing with normal P. erubescens and in all respects except the elongated spikes were identical with the typical plants.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1996). Amaranthaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-07-24
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
family Amaranthaceae
genus Ptilotus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Ptilotus erubescens in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Ptilotus erubescens in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Fans present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales