Seeds of South Australia
Calandrinia pumila (Portulacaceae)
Tiny Purslane
List of species for Calandrinia
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Seed collecting:
March, September to November
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Roxby (GAW07)Gawler
 Near Threatened
Maralinga (GVD03)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Tallaringa (GVD05) 
 Near Threatened
Warriner (SSD04)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Near Threatened
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Near Threatened
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Near Threatened
Witjira (STP06) 
 Near Threatened
Baltana (STP07) 
 Near Threatened
Coongie (CHC06)Channel Country
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Lake Pure (CHC07) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
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 Calandrinia]
Name derivation:
Calandrinia named after Jean-Louis Calandrini (1703-1758), a Swiss scientist, professor of mathematics and philosophy. Pumila from the Latin 'pumilio' meaning dwarf, referring to its habit.
Found scattered across the northern part of South Australia growing on red and clay soils in open clay pans. 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 annual herb with thickened tap root and stems to 10 cm long. Basal leaves radical, petiolate, spathulate or narrow-obovate to 12 mm long and 8 mm wide. Inflorescence loose panicles with tiny pink flowers. Flowering between May and September.
Capsule globose, circumciss, 3-valved from the base, 2.6-3.5 mm long, exceeding the spreading sepals; seeds numerous, obovoid, red-brown, shiny, smooth-colliculate, 0.4-0.5 mm long, c. 0.3 mm wide.
Fruit type:
Red-brown globular capsule to 3.5 mm long with 3 valves.
Seed type:
Shiny red-brown reniform-ovoid seed to 0.5 mm long and 0.2 mm wide with a smooth surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules that are turning red-brown colour and contain dark 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 two collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 90% to 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA90800 (3.92 g)10012-Mar-2007RJB70943
BGA117700 (2.59 g)30+25-Sep-2007DJD863
Lake Eyre
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.