Seeds of South Australia
Cardamine tenuifolia (Cruciferae)
Slender Bitter-cress
List of species for Cardamine
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Seed collecting:
December to May
Herbarium regions:
Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [under surveyed]
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [water dependant]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Data Deficient   [questionable occurance, Thomas Gully Mt Bold, D Duval]
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02)Gawler
 Data Deficient   [Checked by Helmutt & Helen]
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. Tenuifolia from the Latin tenuis meaning slender and 'folium' meaning a leaf, referring to the species having slender leaves.
Found in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in swamps and streams. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in New South Wales and Victoria. Common in Tasmania.
Plant description:
Elongate, glabrous perennial herb to 50 cm or more high, often with numerous fine fibrous roots arising from lower stems; stems weak, trailing. Leaves predominantly along the stems to 6 cm long (lower leaves not persisting), pinnate with 1–5 pairs of lateral pinnae, terminal and lateral pinnae filiform. Flowers along a spike with white flowers. Flowering between October and March.
Fruit type:
Long pale brown pods, splitting into two.
Seed type:
Orange flat reniform seeds to 2 mm long and 1 mm wide with a slight wing around the margin.
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 one collection, the seed viability was high, at 95%.
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
7000 (2.6 g)
7000 (2.6 g)
South Eastern
19-Sep-200895%+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.