Cressa from the Latin 'cressa' meaning Cretan, referring to the first collection of the genus Cressa from the Island of Crete. Australis means of or from the south, referring to the distribution of the species in the southern hemisphere.
Distribution and status
Found in the eastern side of South Australia growing mostly on clay saline soils in swampy areas, around inland salt lakes and coastal flats. Also found in all mainland 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, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Grey hairy subshrub, with erect ,rarely prostrate stems to 20 cm high. Leaves sessile to shortly petiolate; ovate-lanceolate, to 8 mm long and 5 mm wide, acute. Inflorescence terminal with solitary white to pink flowers in axils of leaves. Flowers throughout the year. Fruits are brown globular capsule to 5 mm long, with one seed.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between January and December. Collect capsules that are maturing, turning brown and contain hard seeds inside. Collect more capsules as not all will contain viable seeds. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand or with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the 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.