Seeds of South Australia
Cardamine microthrix (Cruciferae)
Eastern Bitter-cress
List of species for Cardamine
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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 were 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.