Plants of
South Australia
Elatine gratioloides
Elatinaceae
Waterwort
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Rare
Vulnerable
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
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Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5.

Etymology

Elatine a Greek name of a plant, perhaps a hairy toad-flax. Gratioloides means resembling the genus Gratiola (from the Latin 'gratia dei' meaning grace of god, the medieval name for a species used in medicine).

Distribution and status

Found scattered across South Australia, growing in or on the margins of stationary or slow-flowing water to 40 cm deep. Also found in all states. Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Aquatic annual with erect stems when submerged, sometimes forming mats up to 2 m across. Leaves ovate to oblong, to 10 mm long and 5 mm wide, larger in submerged plants. Flowers 1 per leaf pair, to 2 mm diameter, white to pink. Flowering between September and January. Fruits are red to brown capsule to 3 mm with a terminal depression. Seeds are brown reinform seed to 0.7 mm long and 0.2 mm wide, with hexagonal pits. Seed embryo type is linear.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between February and December. Collect stems with maturing capsules, those that are fat, drying off and contain brown seeds. Place the stems 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. 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 three collections, the seed viability were average, ranging from 60% to 75%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA900 (0.04 g)2031-Oct-2007RJB75541
South Eastern
19-Sep-200860%-18°C
BGA145,000 (2.09 g)22-Feb-2008RJB77408
South Eastern
19-Sep-200875%+5°C, -18°C
BGA11,000 (0.25 g)4018-Nov-2010DJD2049
South Eastern
1-Jan-201275%-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.
Germination table:
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