Ilparpa Claypans FloraAnnual Yellowtop (Senecio gregorii) Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum) Buffel Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) Button grass (Dactyloctenium radulans) Centipeda crateriformis Cyperus sp Goatshead Burr (Sclerolaena bicornis) Golden Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum) Invisible Plant (Siemssenia capillaris) Longtails (Ptilotus polystachyus) Nardoo (Marsilea drummondii) Pink Everlasting (Schoenia cassiniana) Polycarpaea corymbosa var brevifolia Red Pussytail (Ptilotus polystachyus) Schenkia australis Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla) Tiny Purslane (Calandrinia pumila) Tiny Purslane (White form) Variable Daisy (Brachyscome ciliaris) Wahlenbergia capillaris Yellow Billybutton (Calocephalus platycephalus)

The Pterocaulon sphacelatum is a species of flowering plant found only in Australia.

Commonly known as “applebush” or “fruit-salad plant”, it also has a number of Aboriginal names. It is an aromatic plant that is used in Australian Aboriginal medicine.

Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum), Ilparpa Claypans NT
Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum), Ilparpa Claypans NT

A short-lived perennial forb with sticky stems, that can grow up to 1.2 m in height. The leaves are 1-5 cm long, 3-15 mm wide, alternating up the stems, with the bases extending down the stems as a narrow wing. The leaves are flat and hairy below, sometimes almost hairless above, the edges entire or toothed to lobed.

Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum), Ilparpa Claypans NT
Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum), Ilparpa Claypans NT

The flowers are purple to pink, with no petals the flower heads are spherical to oval, that are borne singly at the end of the stems.

Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum), Ilparpa Claypans NT
Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum), Ilparpa Claypans NT

Quite common in the Alice Springs region, it natural habitat is sub-tropical dry continental grasslands.

Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum), Ilparpa Claypans NT
Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum), Ilparpa Claypans NT

Common name
Known as Apple Bush, also Applebush, and Fruit-salad Plant. The Aboriginal Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara name is Intiyanu.


  • Scientific Classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Charophyta
  • Class: Equisetopsida
  • Subclass: Magnoliidae
  • Superorder: Asteranae
  • Order: Asterales
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Genus: Pterocaulon
  • Species: Pterocaulon sphacelatum

Ilparpa Claypans FloraAnnual Yellowtop (Senecio gregorii) Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum) Buffel Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) Button grass (Dactyloctenium radulans) Centipeda crateriformis Cyperus sp Goatshead Burr (Sclerolaena bicornis) Golden Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum) Invisible Plant (Siemssenia capillaris) Longtails (Ptilotus polystachyus) Nardoo (Marsilea drummondii) Pink Everlasting (Schoenia cassiniana) Polycarpaea corymbosa var brevifolia Red Pussytail (Ptilotus polystachyus) Schenkia australis Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla) Tiny Purslane (Calandrinia pumila) Tiny Purslane (White form) Variable Daisy (Brachyscome ciliaris) Wahlenbergia capillaris Yellow Billybutton (Calocephalus platycephalus)

Ilparpa ClaypansIlparpa Claypans Fauna Ilparpa Claypans Flora Ilparpa Claypans Landscape

Northern TerritoryCentral Australia Aileron Alice Springs Binns Track Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve Ernest Giles Road Finke Gorge National Park Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve Hermannsburg Historic Precinct Ilparpa Claypans Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve MacDonnell Ranges Owen Springs Reserve Red Centre Way Drive Standley Chasm Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Watarrka National Park & Kings Canyon Wurre / Rainbow Valley