Centella is from the Latinised diminutive of the Greek 'kentron' meaning a sharp point or bristle but used what it is referring to. Cordifolia from the Latin 'cordis' meaning heart and 'folium' meaning a leaf, referring to its round to heart-shaped leaves.
Distribution and status
Found in the Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island and the South-east in South Australia, growing in moist areas, in or near fresh-water swamps. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Creeping perennial herb rooting at the nodes. Leaves cordate, entire, sinuate or faintly crenate, to 3 cm long, with 5-7 nerves, on along stalk 1-5 times as long as the blade. Inflorescence in umbels with 2-3 small purple flowers. Flowering between December and March. Fruits are pale brown umbels on a short stalk with numerous seeds with each fruit to 3 mm long and 5 mm broad, laterally compressed, dorsal edges rounded, glabrous or with some hairs near the apex. Mericarps with 5 distinct longitudinal ribs which are reticulately connected by weaker ones.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between February and May. Collect maturing fruits by picking off the clusters that are turning brown. Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the fruits with a rubber bung 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.