Erect to spreading shrub, to 50(–180) cm high; branchlets shortly appressed-villous. Leaves all similar, shortly petiolate, linear, 5–14 mm long, 0.5–1 mm wide, semi-terete, grooved below, apex abruptly tapered into a short, slightly recurved point, upper surface glabrous, often minutely scabrous, sometimes viscid, lower surface hidden by revolute margins; stipules brown, 2–3.5 mm long, ciliate in 2 lines, rarely glabrous, often viscid, united for most of their length. Flowers in terminal, shortly pedunculate hemispherical heads 0.5–1 cm diam., heads subtended by 1–3 leaves and several broad brown papery (sometimes viscid) bracts; perianth 2–3 mm long, white or cream, externally white-woolly; sepals c. 1 mm, subequal to free part of hypanthium; style 1–1.5 mm long, entire. Fruit c. 2 mm long. Flowers mostly Aug.–Nov.
CVU, Gold, GGr, HSF, LoM, MuF, MuM, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Moderately common through the Mallee regions, usually on sandy flats or dune swales, with disjunct occurrences on shallow, rocky ground in the Inglewood-Wedderburn area, Long Forest near Bacchus Marsh, and verges of the Moroka River north of Maffra.
Plants from non-mallee locations tend to be taller, have longer leaves and stipules, and are more viscid than mallee plants. Their taxonomic status warrants investigation. Possible hybrids between S. eriocephalum and S. subochreatum have been collected from the western part of the Big Desert. Var. glabrisepalum J.M.Black differs from var. eriocephalum in the flowers having glabrous, viscid sepals. It is endemic on Kangaroo Island in South Australia.
|Bioregion||Occurrence status||Establishment means|
|Victorian Volcanic Plain||present||native|
|Central Victorian Uplands||present||native|