Plants of
South Australia
Hypertelis cerviana
Aizoaceae
Wire-stem Chickweed
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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 painting: 1.

Etymology

Mollugo from the Latin name of a plant believed to be Galium mollugo, a European herb with whorled leaves, applied to the present genus because the leaves appear verticillate. Cerviana means deer (or fawn) colored.

Distribution and status

Found scattered in the northern part of south Australia. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in New South Wales. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

A delicate little herb, resembling a Sagina, to 8 cm high with whorled stems, branches and leaves, the stems and branches capillary. Leaves linear, to 10 mm long. Flowers on long capillary peduncles, perianth-segments to 3 mm long, obtuse, greenish with a membranous margin. Flowers throughout the year. Fruits are brown ovoid capsule, enclosed in the perianth, opening in 3 valves which has the remains of a septum down their middle. Seeds are very small brown reniform seed to 0.3 mm long and 0.3 mm wide, with reticulated surface. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect capsules that are maturing, turning brown and contain hard, brown seeds inside. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be careful as the seeds are very small. 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
177,000 (1.63 g)
25,000 (0.23 g)
5011-Mar-2007RJB70930
Gairdner-Torrens
1-Aug-2007100%-18°C
 
MSB

60,000 (1.468 g)
100+21-Sep-2014DEM7695
North Western
45%
BGA11,000 (0.7 g)100+1-Sep-2016DJD3402
Lake Eyre
1-Nov-201735%-18°C
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.