Seeds of South Australia
Portulaca intraterranea (Portulacaceae)
Inland Purslane
List of species for Portulaca
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Seed collecting:
November to March
Herbarium region:
Lake Eyre
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Torrens (GAW06)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [sand dune spp]
Barrier Range (BHC01)Broken Hill Complex
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))
Simpson Desert (SSD02)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Dieri (SSD03) 
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Warriner (SSD04) 
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Peake-Dennison Inlier (STP04) 
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Macumba (STP05) 
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Witjira (STP06) 
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Baltana (STP07) 
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Diamantina-Eyre (CHC04) 
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
Lake Pure (CHC07) 
 Least Concern   [sand dune spp]
IBRA regions
Torrens (GAW06)GawlerRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [sand dune spp]
Barrier Range (BHC01)Broken Hill ComplexRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i))
4 of 4 subregionsSimpson Strzelecki DunefieldsLeast Concern
6 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsLeast Concern
4 of 4 subregionsChannel CountryLeast 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 Portulaca]
Name derivation:
Portulaca from the Latin 'portula' meaning a small gate or door; probably alluding to the calyptra (covering tissue) of the capsule.
Found in the north-eastern part of South Australia, growing on sand dunes. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Prostrate to decumbent succulent annual or sometimes perennial herb with stems to 20 cm long. Leaves, succulent, obovate to oblanceolate to 20 mm long. Flowers in clusters of 3 to 4 heads, with yellow petals to 17 mm long, twice as long as sepals. Flowering between August and December.
Fruit type:
Pale brown capsules to 5 mm long.
Seed type:
Dark brown to black reniform seed to 0.8 mm long and 0.6 mm wide, with surface covered in star-shaped reticulate and tubercules.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules, those that are turning yellow or pale brown colour and contain black seeds
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand 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.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
43500 (3.75 g)
43500 (3.75 g)
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.