Plants of
South Australia
Hydrocotyle crassiuscula
Umbelliferae
Spreading Pennywort
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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 paintings: 2.

Etymology

Hydrocotyle from the Greek 'hydro' meaning water and 'kotyle' meaning a dish or plate; alluding to the shape of the leaves which are slightly depressed in the centre. Crassiuscula meaning somewhat thick, possibly referring to the species very short but thick pedicels or rather thick leaves.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found only in the Fleurieu Peninsula and on Kangaroo Island, growing in moist shady or open places on grey sandy loam. Rare in South Australia but more common post fire.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

A stout glabrous annual herb spreading stems to 30cm wide but not rooting at the nodes. Leaves to 15 mm across, divided into three oblong cuneate lobes, each with 2 or 3 short segments. Flowers tiny, pale yellow. Flowering between September and November. Fruit on short, rigid peduncles in umbels of 8-12 with fruiting pedicels to 1.5 mm long, thick. Mericarps with 1 row of tubercles between dorsal and intermediate ribs, and usually several tubercles between intermediate and inconspicuous lateral ribs. Seed embryo type is linear under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and December. 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.

Fire response

Obligate re-seeder, no re-spouting observed.

Longevity: >2 years

Time to flowering: 1 year

Recovery work

In 2020-2021 this species was assessed post-fire in 1 year old fire scars. A total of 136,00 seeds have been collected & banked for a population in Flinders Chase National Park. Germination screening testing the response to fire cues will be undertaken in 2021.This project was supported by the Project Phoenix program.

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
4,600 (1.27 g)
4,600 (1.27 g)
50+8-Oct-2008TST569
Kangaroo Island
2-May-201795%+5°C, -18°C, -80°C
BGA42,600 (12.82 g)10014-Nov-2019DJD3884
Southern Lofty
24-Jun-202095%-18°C, -80°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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