Plants of
South Australia
Montia australasica
Portulacaceae
White purslane
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Montia named after Guiseppe Monti (1682-1760), an Italian chemist and botanist, Professor of Botany and Director of the Bologna botanic garden. Australasica means of or from Australasia; referring to the species distribution.

Distribution and status

Found on Kangaroo Island, Mount Lofty Ranges, along the lower Murray River and the lower South-east in South Australia, in moist areas along stream margins and wetlands. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Prostrate perennial herbs with rhizomatous stems, rooting at the nodes, often carpeting to 3 cm high in terrestrial situations, lax when aquatic. Terrestrial forms with stems often pinkish, sometimes the lower internodes tuberous in lowlands, leaves alternate, to 4 cm long and 3 mm wide, bright green or bluish, aquatic forms with leaves to 12 cm long and 5 mm wide. Flowers white or pale pink. Flowering between November and March. Fruits are pale brown subglobose capsule to 3.5 mm long, shorter than the sepals Seeds are black ovoid seed to 1.9 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, smooth and shiny. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and May. Collect mature capsules, those that are turning yellow or pale brown colour and contain black seeds. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules 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 low to high, ranging from 25% to 100%. This may be due to the level of cleaning.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
 
MSB

2,100 (0.77 g)
5019-Dec-2007RJB76630
South Eastern
95%
BGA820 (0.65 g)100+5-Dec-2012DJD2609
South Eastern
27-Feb-2014100%-18°C
BGA830 (0.66 g)200+18-Nov-2013DJD2272
South Eastern
24-Mar-201525%-18°C
BGA590 (0.47 g)100+6-Dec-2012DJD2609
South Eastern
1-Jan-201665%-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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