Seeds of South Australia
Crassula helmsii (Crassulaceae)
Swamp Crassula
List of species for Crassula
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Seed collecting:
October to February
Herbarium regions:
Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Near Threatened
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Data Deficient   [no vouchered records]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Near Threatened   [undercollected]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Near Threatened   [undercollected]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA bd(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [water dependent; restricted to river]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Near Threatened
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Rare   (IUCN: RA bd(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [water dependent]
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 Crassula]
Name derivation:
Crassula the diminutive of the Latin 'crassus' meaning thick, alluding to the fleshy leaves and branches. Helmsii named after Richard Helms (1842-1914), a German-born Australian naturalist whose work in botany, zoology, geology, and ethnology covered various parts of Australia and New Zealand.
Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges, along the Murray River and in the lower South-east in South Australia growing along banks of rivers, creeks, lakes or swamps and showing great tolerance to temporary or prolonged inundation and/or high salt levels. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Annual herb with decumbent branches to 12 cm long and often much branched in marsh plants, or floating branches to 25 cm long. Leaves oblong-lanceolate to oblong-elliptic, to 12 mm long and 3 mm wide; dorsiventrally flattened and slightly fleshy in marsh plants, green to brown. Inflorescence single flower in the axil of leaf-like bracts with white flowers. Flowering between August and November but may continue as long as moisture is available.
Fruit type:
Small brown capsules along the stems.
Seed collecting:
Collect whole plants that are drying off, turning brown with mature fruit-spikes. These will contain very small brown seeds when rubbed with your fingers.
Seed cleaning:
Place the plants in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the plants gently by hand or with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be very 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.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA850 (0.0156 g)17-Dec-2006RJB70623C
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.