Plants of
South Australia
Crassula exserta
Crassulaceae
Large-fruit Crassula
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.

Etymology

Crassula the diminutive of the Latin 'crassus' meaning thick, alluding to the thickening of the succulent leaves. Exserta from the Latin 'exsertus' meaning exserted, referring to the valves of the capsules.

Distribution and status

Found on the Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia, growing on sandy or gravelly clay soils in a wide range of habitats. Also found in Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in Victoria and Tasmania. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect annual herb with stiff stem to 15 cm high, branching very little and mainly from the fourth to sixth nodes. Leaves ovate to elliptic, to 3.2 mm long and 1.8 mm wide, almost flat above, strongly convex below, papillose to smooth. Inflorescence one sometimes several spike with small white tinged red flowers. Flowering between August to October. Fruit capsules slightly reclined, tuberculate, releasing seeds through apical pore or detaching basally from receptacle on a pedicel rarely to 5 mm long. Seeds obloid-ellipsoidal to 0.3 mm long and 0.15 mm wide with a slight wrinkled surface.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and November. 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.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
 
MSB

95,000 (1.38 g)
501-Oct-2007RJB74819
South Eastern
100%
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.