Plants of
South Australia
Gonocarpus mezianus
Haloragaceae
Hairy Raspwort
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
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Vulnerable
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 7.

Etymology

Gonocarpus from the Greek 'gonia' meaning angle, corner and 'carpos' meaning fruit, referring to its ribbed fruits. Mezianus named after Prof. Carl Christian Mez (1866-1944), a German botanist at Breslau, Halle, Königsberg (1910–1935 director of the Botanical Garden) and finally Freiburg.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia growing on dry rocky soils, often with Gonocarpus elatus, with which it sometimes hybridises. Also found in Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect or ascending perennial herb to 30 cm tall with strongly 4-angled, hairy stems. Leaves opposite becoming alternate above, subsessile, broadly ovate to cordate, to 17 mm long and 15 mm wide; margin thickened, with 8-12 coarse teeth. Inflorescence a leafy-spike at the tip of stems, with numerous red flowers. Flowering between August and February. Fruits are small silver-grey to purplish ovoid fruit to 1.3 mm long and 1 mm wide, with 8-ribbed and 2-3 calluses between the ribs, scabrous surface. Seeds are considered the same as the fruit.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and March. Collect maturing fruits, those that are fat and turning grey-purple, by running your hands along the fruit-spikes. Place the fruit in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. No further cleaning is required if only fruits were collected. If collected with other material, 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 one collection, the seed viability was low, at 20%.

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
8,500 (3.1 g)
8,500 (3.1 g)
5030-Nov-2005DJD266
South Eastern
1-Aug-200620%-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.