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Useful Temperate Plants

Exocarpos sparteus

R.Br.

Santalaceae


The generic name Exocarpos was more commonly spelled Exocarpus in the past.

+ Synonyms

Xylophyllos sparteus (R.Br.) Kuntze

Exocarpos glandulaceus Miq.

Exocarpos spicatus A.DC.

Exocarpos pendulus F.Muell.

Common Name: Broom Ballart

No Image.

General Information

Exocarpos sparteus is an evergreen shrub or small tree with a weeping crown; it can grow up to 4 metres tall, often with more than one stem. The leaves are small and scale-like, with most photosynthesis being carried out by the green stems.[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.

Range

Australia - scattered throughout the mainland, esp. in central Australia, southwestern W. Australia, southeastern S. Australia and western Victoria

Habitat

Found in many habitats including coastal and desert sand dunes and on plains[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
]. Mallee communities on sandy soils[
365
Title
Flora of New South Wales
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/floraonline.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line resource giving a brief botanical description of all the native plants of New South Wales, their habitat and range, together with diagrams and photographs of the plants.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height3.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Exocarpos sparteus is widespread through Australia, growing in a range of climatic zones including warm temperate, Mediterranean, arid and sub-arid.

A major difficulty if trying to cultivate this species is that, although it photosynthesizes much of its own nutrients, it is also semi-parasitic on the roots of other plants, notably Eucalyptus species. Seeds germinate fairly easily, and cuttings will usually root successfully, but the seedlings and cuttings usually die unless they have root access to a host plant. Exocarpos species generally cause very little harm to the host plant.

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw[
193
Title
Wild Food Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Low. T.
Publisher
Angus and Robertson.
Year
1989
ISBN
0-207-14383-8
Description
Well presented, clear information and good photographs. An interesting read for the casual reader as well as the enthusiast
]. Sweet and succulent. The red or pink, depressed-spherical, fruiting receptacle is about 2mm long[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
].
The edible, fleshy, fruit-like structure is actually an enlarged, succulent section of the flower stalk (receptacle), beyond which the seed and true fruit protrude[
397
Title
Australian Native Plants Society
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://anpsa.org.au/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of fact sheets on Australian plants. Good photographs, brief description and information on uses, habitat, range, cultivation etc.
,
1461
Title
Flora of Tasmania Online
Publication
 
Author
Duretto MF (Ed.)
Website
http://www.tmag.tas.gov.au/floratasmania
Publisher
Tasmanian Herbarium, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery: Hobart
Year
2009
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent flora, in the process of being published (58 family treatments as of 2017). It can be accesed online and can also be downloaded as PDFs.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Propagation and establishment of species in this genus is difficult due to the semi-parasitic nature of the plant. Some success has being achieved in propagation from both seed and cuttings, but the plants generally do not survive once planted out[
397
Title
Australian Native Plants Society
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://anpsa.org.au/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of fact sheets on Australian plants. Good photographs, brief description and information on uses, habitat, range, cultivation etc.
].
Sowing the seed in situ near where potential host plants are growing, and protecting the seed with an upturned glass or plastic container would be worth a try. Alternatively, try sowing the seed in a pot where a small potential host is growing - the main disadvantage to this is that the two plants will be in very close proximity and the Exocarpos could be outcompeted.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2021-04-14. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Exocarpos+sparteus>

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