Seeds of South Australia
Villarsia umbricola var. umbricola (Menyanthaceae)
Lax Marsh-flower
List of species for Villarsia
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Seed collecting:
November to May
Herbarium regions:
Northern Lofty, 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
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [restricted ]
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Near Threatened   [undercollected; some ID problems]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   (Probable Decline)   [could be a decline in near future]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [specific habitat - peat swamps, damp, fresh water]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [specific habitat - peat swamps, damp, fresh water]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [specific habitat - peat swamps, damp, fresh water]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii); D)   (Probable Decline)   [1 pop Wirrabra crk, spring fed]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii); C2a(i); D)   (Definite Decline)   [threatened by loss of habitat]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii); C2a(i); D)   (Definite Decline)   [threatened by loss of habitat]
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 Villarsia]
Name derivation:
Vallarsia named after Dominique Villars (1745-1814), a French botanist and physician. Umbricola from the Latin 'umbra' meaning shady and 'cola' meaning dwelling; referring to its habit in damp soils or shallow fresh water in semi-shaded and sheltered sites.
Found on Kangaroo Island, Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia, growing on damp sandy or peaty soil or in shallow fresh water in semi-shaded sites of forest depressions, bogs and creek edges. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in the other states.
Plant description:
Non-stoloniferous, slender tufted perennial or annual herb to 105 cm high with aerial leaves (rarely floating). Leaves erect, ovate to almost circular, to 12 cm long, entire, rounded to moderately cordate at the base. Inflorescence a a lax slender panicle occupying much of the flowering stem, with large yellow flowers. This variety differ from the other variety found in South Australia, Vallarsia umbricola var. beaugleholei which have strongly tuberculated seeds. Flowering between November and April.
Fruit type:
Pale brown papery capsule to 11 mm long.
Seed type:
Orange ellipsoid seed to 1.4 mm long and 1 mm wide, with a strongly tuberculated surface.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules, those that are turning a pale straw colour and contain hard seeds. Can collect individual capsules or break off the whole fruit spike.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for 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 three collections, the seed viability were average to high, ranging from 60% to 85%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
1100 (3.85 g)
1100 (3.85 g)
Southern Lofty
BGA40000 (6.6 g)504-Dec-2007TST250
Southern Lofty
BGA19000 (4.18 g)3-Dec-2007RJB76052
Southern Lofty
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.