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.
Distribution:
Found on Kangaroo Island, the 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.
Status:
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 the 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)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA850 (0.0156 g)17-Dec-2006RJB70623C
Murray
1-Aug-2007100%-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.