Pimelea microcephala subsp. microcephala

Mallee Rice-flower

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Shrub usually 0.7–2(–4) m high; stems glabrous. Leaves opposite, shortly petiolate, more or less narrowly elliptic, 4–40(–60) mm long, 1–7 mm wide, concolorous, glabrous. Inflorescence terminal, a compact head of few–many flowers; involucral bracts leaf-like, 2 or 4, sessile, narrowly elliptic to ovate-elliptic, 2–30 mm long, 1–7 mm wide, usually deciduous, glabrous, green. Flowers unisexual, white to yellow or greenish, glabrous inside, densely hairy outside; floral tube in male flowers 3–7 mm long, in female flowers 1.5–2.5 mm long and style-portion shorter than ovary-portion; sepals 0.2–2 mm long; pedicel hairy; stamens shorter than sepals; anthers opening laterally or somewhat laterally. Fruit succulent, naked.  Flowers Apr.–Sep.

LoM, MuF, MuM, MSB, RobP, VRiv. Also WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW. Grows in shrubland or woodland in north-west of State, usually in sand.

Subsp. microcephala differs from subsp. glabra, a South Australian endemic, in having medium green, rather than glaucous leaves, and flowers with densely hairy pedicel and floral tube.

Taller plants are found near water. The fruits were eaten by South Australian aboriginals, but the seeds are poisonous.

Source: Entwisle, T.J. (1996). Thymelaeaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-10-05
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Malvales
family Thymelaeaceae
genus Pimelea
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Pimelea microcephala subsp. microcephala in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Pimelea microcephala subsp. microcephala in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales