Kath Alcock paintings: 4
Crassula the diminutive of the Latin 'crassus' meaning thick, alluding to the fleshy leaves and branches. Helmsii named after Richard Helms (1842-1914), a German-born Australian naturalist whose work in botany, zoology, geology, and ethnology covered various parts of Australia and New Zealand.
Distribution and status
Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges, along the Murray River and in the lower South-east in South Australia growing along banks of rivers, creeks, lakes or swamps and showing great tolerance to temporary or prolonged inundation and/or high salt levels. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania (and New Zealand). Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Annual herb with decumbent branches to 12 cm long and often much branched in marsh plants, or floating branches to 25 cm long. Leaves oblong-lanceolate to oblong-elliptic, to 12 mm long and 3 mm wide; dorsiventrally flattened and slightly fleshy in marsh plants, green to brown. Inflorescence single flower in the axil of leaf-like bracts with white flowers. Flowering between August and November but may continue as long as moisture is available. Fruits are small brown capsules along the stems. Seeds orange-brown, oblong-ovoid to 0.4 mm long and 0.2 mm wide, with a smooth surface.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between October and January. Collect whole plants that are drying off, turning 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.
|Location||No. of seeds|
|BGA||850 (0.015 g)||17-Dec-2006||RJB70623C|