Plants of
South Australia
Damasonium minus
Alismataceae
Star-fruit
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
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Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Damasonium from the Greek 'damazo' meaning to subdue, because one species was 'said to overcome poison'. Minus meaning small, referring to the species' small flower.

Distribution and status

Found in South Australia mainly along the Murray River with scattered records from the South-east and on Eyre Peninsula growing in shallow and semi-permanent fresh water. Also found in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales , Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia and Tasmania. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect, emergent annual or short-lived perennial to 1 m high with floating and/or emergent leaves, lanceolate to ovate, obtuse to cordate at the base, to 10 cm long. Flower-spike a panicle to 50 cm high with white to pale-pink flowers, with 3 petals to 6 mm in diameter. Flowering between October and February. Fruits are pale brown flat capsule to 6 mm long, forming a star-shaped aggregate fruit to 12 mm diameter. Seeds are dark brown seed to 1.3 mm long and 0.8 mm wide, with a deeply wrinkled surface. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and April. Collect the star-shaped fruits that are maturing, turning brown and contain hard brown seeds. Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the dried fruits gently with your hands or a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. 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 two colections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 85% to 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
BGA4,900 (1.32 g)30+9-Feb-2011DJD2120
South Eastern
1-Jan-201285%-18°C
BGA11,600 (3.73 g)200+5-Apr-2011DJD2150
South Eastern
1-Jan-2012100%-18°C
BGA15,750 (5.04 g)50+19-Oct-2011DJD2288
Murray
1-Nov-2012100%-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.
Germination table:
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