Microlepidium from the Greek 'mikros' meaning small and the genus Lepidium (from the Greek 'lepis' meaning a scale); alluding to much smaller habit of the genus to Lipidium. Alatum from the Latin 'alatus ' meaning winged; referring to the winged fruit pod.
Distribution and status
Found on the western Eyre Peninsula and along the Nullarbor in South Australia, growing in sheltered sites, particularly in moss beds on sandy loam over sheet limestone in Melaleuca lanceolata open-woodland. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Rare in South Australia. Very rare in Western Australia.
Herbarium region: Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Small spreading to erect annual herb to 20 cm tall with stout and hairless stems, rarely branching. Basal leaves obovate, entire and up to 2 cm long. Stem leaves obovate, remotely dentate to entire, to 1.5 cm long. Inflorescence along the upper part of the stems with tiny white flowers, without petals. Flowering between July to September. Fruits are brown globular to cordate pod to 5.5 mm long, slightly compressed, with two flattened wings. Seeds are broadly ellipsoid, 0.8–1 mm long. Seeds are orange brown ovoid seed to 1 mm long and 0.7 mm wide, with very fine tuberculates. Seed embryo type is bent.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between August and October. Collect whole plants, those with maturing pods, turning pale brown with hard seeds inside. Be gentle with the pods as they split open easily. Place the pods in a tray and cover with paper to prevent seeds from popping out and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the dried pods gently by hand 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. From two collections, the seed viability were high, at 100%.
|Location||No. of seeds|
1,600 (0.3 g)
|BGA||4,700 (0.89 g)||100+||11-Sep-2008||TST483|
|BGA||4,000 (0.66 g)||50+||10-Sep-2008||TST478|