Seeds of South Australia
Lobelia irrigua (Campanulaceae)
Salt Lobelia
List of species for Lobelia
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Seed collecting:
December to March
Herbarium regions:
Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South East
IBRA regions
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Least Concern
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [not ideal habitat; birds spread seed; odd record; edge of range]
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 Lobelia]
Name derivation:
Lobelia named after Mathias de Lobel (1538-1616), physician to William of Orange and then botanist to James I of England. Irrigua from Latin meaning watered; alluding to the species habitat in wet areas.
Found mainly in the lower South-east in South Australia with other collections from Kangaroo Island and Hindmarsh Island, growing on heavy, seasonally damp soils along watercourses, in saltmarsh, slightly brackish to subsaline wetlands and damp grassland. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Procumbent or decumbent, nearly glabrous perennial herb with zigzagged stems and rooting at nodes. Leaves linear to obovate or ovate, to 40 mm long and 8 mm wide, entire or toothed, rather thick, glabrous or occasionally with minute hairs on margins, base tapered gradually. Flowers irregularly spaced along stem, male, female and bisexual flowers superficially similar, with  flowers white or mauve-tinged on the back of the lobes and tube. Flowering between September and April.
Fruit type:
Brown ovoid to ellipsoid capsule to 8 mm long.
Seed type:
Light brown ellipsoid, compressed, seed.
Embryo type:
Linear under-developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules, those that are fat, turning a pale straw colour and contain brown seeds. Can be time consuming to find mature capsules.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand 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.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
8500 (0.83 g)
8500 (0.83 g)
South Eastern
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.