Plants of
South Australia
Isotoma scapigera
Campanulaceae
Erect Isotome
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.

Etymology

Isotoma, from the Greek 'isos', meaning equal and 'tomos', meaning, a cutting, referring to the equally cut corolla lobes. Scapigera from the Latin 'scapus,' meaning stalk, stem and 'gero', meaning to bear, referring to the leafless or almost so, flower stalk growing from the ground.

Distribution and status

Found along the coast from the Nullarbor to the tip of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, growing on moist mudflats, often around salt marshes, winter-wet swampy flats and sand dunes. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Gairdner-Torrens, Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Annual herbs with branches up to 3 cm long, somewhat branched, with leaves in an apparent basal rosette, hairy to smooth. Leaves sub-petiolate with a long cuneate base, oblanceolate- to obovate-spathulate, becoming sessile, elliptic-oblong towards the apex of branches, to 30 mm long and 12 mm; obtuse to acute; fine to coarsely serrate. Flowers borne in the axils of leaf-like bracts at the base of the plant, the stiffly erect pedicels to 12 cm long, with buds nodding, with flowers level and fruits stiffly erect. Sepals scarcely connate; the lobes linear-triangular, to 4.5 mm long, acute to pointed; corolla pale to usually deeply purplish-blue with a white to yellow patch on the lower 3 lobes and into the throat; the tube to 5 mm long; the lobes oblong-oblanceolate to rarely oblong-obovate, to 7 mm long, acute, glabrous. Flowering between October to December. Fruits are papery brown elliptical capsule. Seeds are dark-brown elliptical seed to 0.4 mm long and 0.3 mm wide; smooth surface. Seed embryo type is spathulate, under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and December. Collect mature capsules; those that are turning a pale straw-colour and containing brown seeds. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one 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 two collections, the seed viability was high, at 100%.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
375,000 (0.53 g)
375,000 (0.53 g)
200+25-Nov-2004DJD49
Yorke Peninsula
28-Mar-2006100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA178,000 (1.78 g)100+11-Nov-2009TST884
Yorke Peninsula
1-Jun-2010100%-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.