Seeds of South Australia
Bergia occultipetala (Elatinaceae)
Hidden Water-fire
List of species for Bergia
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Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Near Threatened
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened
Witjira (STP06) 
 Near Threatened
Lake Pure (CHC07)Channel Country
 Near Threatened
Everard Block (CER03)Central Ranges
 Near Threatened
Tieyon (FIN03)Finke
 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 Bergia]
Name derivation:
Bergia named after Dr Petter Jonas Bergius (1730-90), Swedish physician and botanist. Occultipetala means having secret petals; referring to the petals which remain enclosed within the calyx.
Found in the north central and north-eastern parts of South Australia, growing on sandy or clay soils on lower dune slopes and swamp margins. Also found in the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in Queensland and New South Wales. Common in the Northern Territory.
Plant description:
Prostrate perennial. Indumentum of eglandular hairs. Leaves elliptic, to 25 mm long and 7.5 mm wide, acute, glabrous, margin serrate, mid-vein prominent, leaves on condensed axillary shoots smaller. Stipules to 3.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide at base. Flowers solitary, sessile. Bracteoles appressed to calyx, to 4.5 long and 1.5 mm wide, acuminate, green, margin white, laciniate, sometimes separated as distinct auricles. Sepals 5, elliptic, to 4.5 mm long and 2 mm wide, acuminate, dimorphic with inner 2 sepals smaller, green, margin fimbriate, keel absent, pubescent externally on basal half with blunt, transparent, strap-like hairs to 0.7 mm long. Petals 5, narrow-obovate to spathulate, to 2.5 mm long and 0.9 mm wide, obtuse, shorter than sepals, enclosed within sepals at anthesis. Stamens 5, to 1.5 mm long, filament flattened, linear or narrowly dilated at base.
Fruit type:
Globular capsule to 2.5 mm diameter, 5- rarely 4-locular.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect stems with maturing capsules, those that are fat, drying off and contain brown seeds.
Seed cleaning:
Place the stems in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the plant especially the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a fine 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.