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Ptilotus axillaris (Benth.) F.Muell.
Mat Mulla Mulla

Pl.North-West.Austral. 7 (1881)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Native to Western Australia
Name Status

Prostrate annual, herb, 0.03-0.12 m high, leaves, ovate-spathulate, 7-110 mm long, leaves 2-45 mm wide; spike ovoid-cylindrical, 15-50 mm long; spike 25-40 mm wide; bract 7.5-9 mm long; bracteole 8.5-10 mm long; tepals 17-20 mm long; fertile stamens 2, staminodes 3; ovary hairy; style curved, 3.8-5 mm long, eccentrically fixed to ovary. Fl. pink-white, Apr to Nov. Red sand. Stony hills, plains, sand dunes.

Amanda Spooner, Descriptive Catalogue, 27 May 2008

Scientific Description

Annuals, stems several, more or less prostrate, glabrescent, with nodose or verticillate hairs. Leaves present, 7-110 mm long, 2-45 mm wide, glabrescent or glabrous, with nodose or verticillate hairs; basal rosette absent; cauline leaves alternate. Spikes pink or magenta, ovoid or cylindrical, solitary, with densely arranged flowers. Bracts (4.5-)6-7 mm long, coloured, hairy, awned or mucronate, with an obscure midrib. Bracteoles (5-)6.5-6.8 mm long, colourless, glabrous or hairy, awned or mucronate, with a prominent midrib. Outer tepals (11-)13-17.5 mm long, not entire. Inner tepals (10.5-)11.5-16 mm long, glabrous within. Style 3.8-5 mm long, curved, obliquely fixed to ovary. Seeds 1.7-1.9 mm long, dull, black or brown. Distribution: Northern and Eremaean Botanical Region; IBRA regions: Dampierland.

R. Davis, 30 April 2019


IBRA Regions
Carnarvon, Dampierland, Gascoyne, Gibson Desert, Great Sandy Desert, Little Sandy Desert, Pilbara.
IBRA Subregions
Ashburton, Augustus, Cape Range, Chichester, Fortescue, Hamersley, Lateritic Plain, Mackay, McLarty, Pindanland, Roebourne, Rudall, Trainor, Wooramel.
IMCRA Regions
Eighty Mile Beach, Ningaloo, Pilbara (nearshore).
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Ashburton, Broome, Carnarvon, East Pilbara, Exmouth, Karratha, Ngaanyatjarraku, Port Hedland, Upper Gascoyne, Wiluna.