Seeds of South Australia
Cardamine microthrix (Cruciferae)
Eastern Bitter-cress
List of species for Cardamine
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
October to December
Herbarium region:
Southern Lofty
NRM region:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
IBRA regions
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [(no records) in creeklines after fire]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [(no records) abundant in creeklines after fire]
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 Cardamine]
Name derivation:
Cardamine from the Greek 'kardamon', a name given by Dioscorides for a species of cress, an Indian spice and derived from the Greek 'cardia' meaning heart and 'damaein' meaning to blind, alluding to the reputed heart-strengthening effects of the plant. Microthrix from the Greek 'mikros' meaning small and 'thrix' meaning hair, referring to the minute hairs on the leaves.
Found in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia, growing in moist habitats near creeks and low-lying areas. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in New South Wales.
Plant description:
Annual herb to 30 cm high with a taproot or fibrous root and stems erect to trailing, glabrous or occasionally sparsely hairy. Basal leaves few to many, persisting or not, to 8 cm long, simple or pinnate, the terminal pinna relatively large, broadly ovate with a strongly cordate base. Stem leaves mostly to 5 cm long, pinnate with 1–3 pairs of lateral pinnae, terminal pinnae usually 5–9-lobed, often acutely, lateral pinnae usually trilobed, margins of pinnae almost always with several minute hairs. Flower spike few to many white flowers. Flowering possibly all year.
Fruit type:
Long pale brown pods to 3 cm in length, splitting into two.
Seed type:
Small orange-brown flat reniform seeds to 1.5 mm long and 0.7 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect maturing pods those turning pale brown with orange seeds inside. Be gentle with the pods as they split open easily.
Seed cleaning:
Place the pods in a tray and cover with paper to prevent seeds from popping out and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the dried pods 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 95% to 100%.
Seed germination:
This species has physiological dormancy that need to be overcome for the seed to germinate.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA3800 (0.82 g)27-Apr-2007RJB70361
Southern Lofty
1-Aug-200795%+5°C, -18°C
4800 (0.78 g)
4800 (0.78 g)
Southern Lofty
19-Sep-2008100%+5°C, -18°C
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.