Plants of
South Australia
Bergia trimera
Elatinaceae
Three-parts Water-fire
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
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Oodnadatta
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Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3.

Etymology

Bergia named after Dr Petter Jonas Bergius (1730-90), Swedish physician and botanist. Trimera from the Greek 'treis' meaning three and 'merus' meaning part; referring to the predominantly 3-merous flowers, a distinguishing feature from the closely related Bergia ammannioides.

Distribution and status

Found in the Eastern, Gairdner-Torrens, Lake Eyre Basin and North-western regions of South Australia, in sand, loam or clay soils, often saline. Also found in all other mainland states. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Prostrate or erect annual herb to 15 cm. Leaves narrow-obovate to narrow-elliptic, to 30 mm long and 8 mm wide, acute, glabrous, margin serrate. Flowers pink with 3-4 petals in dense clusters. Flowering throughout the year. Fruits are purple red globular capsule to 1.2 mm diameter. Seeds are red brown ovoid to reniform seed to 0.5mm long, with a net-like surface. Seed embryo type is linear.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect whole plant with maturing capsules, those turning purple red and contain brown seeds. Place the plant in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the plant especially the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a fine sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be very careful as the seeds are very small. The seeds are shiny brown. 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, ranging from 95% and 100%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
249,700 (8.99 g)
249,700 (8.99 g)
50+29-Sep-2007DJD889
Lake Eyre
19-Sep-2008100%-18°C
BGA200,000 (8.55 g)20+12-Aug-2010DJD1840
Lake Eyre
1-Jan-201295%-18°C
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.