Seeds of South Australia
Apium prostratum var. filiforme (Umbelliferae)
Broad-leaf Sea Celery
List of species for Apium
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Seed collecting:
March to June
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eastern, 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
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of range; odd records]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern   [needs brackish water]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Least Concern   [needs brackish water]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [needs brackish water]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii); D2)   (Probable Decline)
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Least Concern   [same as var prostratum]
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Near Threatened   [likes saline river areas]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Least Concern
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
2 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainLeast Concern
, Rare
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooLeast Concern
4 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockRare
, Vulnerable
2 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
, Endangered
2 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
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 Apium]
Name derivation:
Apium is an ancient Latin name for celery or parsley. Prostratum from Latin meaning flat on the ground or prostrate, referring to the its habit. Filiforme from the Latin 'filum' meaning thread and 'forma' meaning shape, referring to the narrow stems rather than the leaflets which, unlike those of the type variety, are far from filiform.
Found mainly along the coast in South Australia from the Eyre Peninsula to the lower South-east and N to the Flinders Ranges, growing in coastal situations on sand dunes, cliff faces or near estuaries and saline lakes but also occasionally beside fresh-water streams. Also found in all States except in the Northern Territory.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Prostrate biennial or perennial herb to 70 cm long, with slender branches under 5 mm diameter. Leaves 1–3-pinnate, lower leaves to 20 cm long with those opposite inflorescence to 15 cm long. Inflorescence in umbels with 4–15 white flowers with tiny yellow-brown midrib. Flowering between January and April. This variety differs from the other found in South Australia in having leaflets that are divided, primary segments elliptic, ovate or cuneate; 2–3 times as long as wide; 3–20 mm long, compared to Apium prostratum var. prostratum which have leaflets entire or divided, with undivided leaflets and primary segments linear to narrow-lanceolate, to 6 cm long, 6–15 times as long as wide.
Fruit type:
Brown globular cluster with a number of seed segments.
Embryo type:
Linear under-developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect maturing fruits by picking off the clusters that are turning brown.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the fruits with a rubber bung 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.