Crassula the diminutive of the Latin 'crassus' meaning thick, alluding to the thickening of the succulent leaves. Colligata from the Latin 'colligatus' meaning to bind, unsure what this relates to.
Distribution and status
Found in the Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island and the South-east in South Australia, growing on a range of soil types, often in seasonally inundated areas. Also found in Victoria (and New Zealand). Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Erect annual herb to 16 cm tall. Leaves opposite each other, scarcely constricted into a sheath at the base, to 53 cm long and 1.3 mm wide, flat, hairless, rarely warty, tips pointed on the upper leaves at least when young. Flowers small cream with reddish tinged, to 3 mm across with 4 tiny petals less than 1 mm long, in groups of 3-15 flowers at the bases of the leaves. Flowering between September and May. Fruit capsule erect, rarely spreading, gradually tapering to style, pore in lower half, outer surface more or less smooth. Seeds obloid-ellipsoidal to 0.4 mm long and 0.2 mm wide with a tubercule surface along longitudinal ridges. This subspecies is distinguish from the other subspecies found in South Australia by having seeds with longitudinal ridges and fruiting capsules that are erect and smooth rather than in C. colligatus ssp. lamprosperma which have smooth and shiny seeds rarely with longitudinal ridges and fruiting capsules spreading between the calyx lobes with a papillose surface towards the base.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between October and June. Collect whole plants that are drying off, turning red-brown with mature fruit-spikes. These will contain very small brown seeds when rubbed with your fingers. Place the plants in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the plants gently by hand or with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be very 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. Seed viability is usually high.