Plants of
South Australia
Alternanthera denticulata
Amaranthaceae
Lesser Joyweed
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 6.

Etymology

Alternanthera from the Latin 'alternus' meaning alternate and 'anthera' meaning anthers, referring to the filaments without anthers often alternate with fertile stamens. Denticulata from Latin meaning with small teeth, referring to the edges of the leaf that can be slightly denticulate.

Distribution and status

Found scattered across South Australia, growing on margins of swamps, river and damp grounds. Also found in all states. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Prostrateor erect annual herb with almost glabrous or with tomentose nodes and 2 decurrent lines of hairs along the stems. Leaves glabrous or sparsely hairy on the margins and midrib, linear to linear-oblong, entire or slightly denticulate, to 5 cm long. Inflorescence in axillary spherical to ovoid spikes with white or pinkish flowers. Flowering between December and April. Fruits are pale brown, semi-flat, heart shaped to 1.5 mm long surrounded by papery bracts. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and May. Collect mature fruits, those that are turning a pale straw colour and contain very small brown seeds. Can collect individual spike or break off the whole stem. Place the fruit in a tray and leave to dry for a few weeks. Then rub the fruits gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be careful as the seeds are very small, less than 2 mm across. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. Not all fruit will contain a seed. Seed viability can be high but seed availability can be low. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
 
MSB

1,700 (0.57 g)
100+31-Jan-2006HPV2957
South Eastern
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.