Seeds of South Australia
Cotula australis (Compositae)
Australian Waterbuttons
List of species for Cotula
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Seed collecting:
October to February
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Near Threatened   [likes disturbance, grows on roadsides]
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Near Threatened   [likes disturbance, grows on roadsides]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Near Threatened   [likes disturbance, grows on roadsides]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Least Concern   [likes disturbance, grows on roadsides]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Least Concern   [likes disturbance, grows on roadsides]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern   [quite widespread]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Least Concern   [weedy like]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern   [weedy like]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)   [Drought a threat]
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)   [Drought a threat. One population in HA area. Probable decline.]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)   [Drought a threat]
St Vincent (EYB02)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA b)   (Definite Decline)   [Drought a threat]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern   [undercollected]
Talia (EYB04) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Least Concern   [restricted to river; needs damp soil]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Least Concern   [likes disturbance, grows on roadsides]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Near Threatened
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Near Threatened   [likes disturbance, grows on roadsides]
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Least Concern   [needs damp soil]
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Least Concern
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Least Concern
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainNear Threatened
  [likes disturbance, grows on roadsides]
4 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooLeast Concern
4 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
4 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
4 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaLeast Concern
  [needs damp soil]
2 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Cotula]
Name derivation:
Cotula from the Medieval Latin 'cotula', which is from the Greek 'kotyle' meaning a small cup; referring to the shape of the involucre. Australis meaning of or from the south, or Australia; referring to its more southern distribution.
Found in the southern part of South Australia, growing in open grassy vegetation near water. Also found in all states. May be introduced in the Northern Territory.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states. Introduced in the Northern Territory.
Plant description:
Ascending annual or short-lived perennial to 10 cm high with weak stems rooting at nodes. Leaves obovate to oblanceolate in outline, to 40 mm long and 10 mm wide, 1–2-pinnatisect, attenuate at base, sparsely to densely hairy. Flower heads to 6 mm diameter, terminal and axillary with yellow-green daisy flower. Flowering between July and November.
Fruit type:
Dense pale brown daisy head.
Seed type:
Two types of seeds, pale brown ovoid seed to 2.5 mm long and 2 mm wide with a thick wing along the margin and dark brown ovoid seed to 1.7 mm long and 0.8 mm wide with no wing.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are drying off and turning brown, mature seeds should fall off easily.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray for a week to dry. Then rub the heads gently with your hands or a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be 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.
Seed viability:
From two collections, the seed viability were high, at 100%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
11700 (1.36 g)
11700 (1.36 g)
South Eastern
BGA15000 (1.37 g)50+8-Oct-2008DJD1253
Kangaroo Island
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.