Ptilotus exaltatus Nees

Pink Mulla-mulla

in Lehm., Pl. Preiss. 1: 630 (1845) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:

Establishment means:

Annual or short-lived perennial herb to c. 1 m high, arising from a fleshy, simple or little-branched taproot. Stems villous to glabrescent. Basal leaves lanceolate, oblanceolate or spathulate, shortly attenuate at base, the largest 50–120 mm long, 20–50 mm wide, glabrous to villous, with a terminal mucro 1–3 mm long, margins sometimes undulate; stem leaves similar but smaller. Spike erect, usually cylindrical, (5–)15–55(–80) mm long, 30–50 mm diam., dense, pink to mauve; bract ovate, 5–10 mm long, with mucro c. 0.5 mm long; bracteoles broad-ovate, equal to or slightly exceeding bract; perianth 17–22 mm long; tepals united at base into a hardened cup c. 2 mm long, otherwise free, outer surface with long, silky hairs, overlying a denser layer of short barbed hairs that extend to the base (where slightly longer), inner surface glabrous except for a loose woolly tuft at base; fertile stamens 3; ovary supported on stipe as long as basal cup of perianth, sparsely pubescent at summit, style 11.5–15 mm long, eccentric to central. Flowers Oct.–Jan.

LoM, MuF, MuM, MSB, Wim. All mainland States. Occurring mainly on sandy soils in mallee communities of north-west Victoria.

Previously included in a broader concept of P. nobilis (e.g. Bean 2008).

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: Neville Walsh, 2018-10-15

Bean, A.R. (2008). A synopsis of Ptilotus (Amaranthaceae) in eastern Australia, Telopea 12(2): 240.

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 exaltatus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Ptilotus exaltatus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Murray Fans present native