Apium prostratum Labill. ex Vent.

Sea Celery

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Prostrate biennial or perennial, branches slender (under 5 mm diam.), 30–70 cm long. Leaves 1–3-pinnate, lower leaves 5–20 cm long, those opposite inflorescence 2–15 cm long; primary leaflets 3–7(–9), sometimes 1–2-ternate; petiole as long or longer than lamina. Umbels 3.5–7 cm diam., sessile or rarely with peduncle to 20 mm long; rays 2–15, 0.5–5.5 cm long; umbellules 4–15-flowered; pedicels to 5 mm long. Petals ovate, white with yellow-brown midrib. Fruit obovate to orbicular, c. 1.5–2.5 mm long, the furrows between ribs almost concealed. Flowers Dec.–Mar.

Brid, CVU, DunT, EGL, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, Strz, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. A widespread species occurring across southern Australia, New Zealand, and possibly South America, usually in coastal situations on sand dunes, cliff faces or near estuaries and saline lakes, but also occasionally beside fresh-water streams. The two Victorian varieties are largely sympatric and there are many intermediate populations.

There are 3 named (and one apparently unnamed, from W.A.) subspecies of Apium prostratum. Only the typical subspecies occurs in Victoria, represented by two varieties. The subspecific epithet is not included in the names used here.

The occurrence of A. prostratum in South America is uncertain. The commonly assumed synonymy of A. prostratum and A. australe Thouars (generally a more robust plant, type from remote Tristan da Cunha, between South America and Africa) requires confirmation.

Created by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2016-03-02
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2019-10-15
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Apiales
family Apiaceae
genus Apium
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Apium prostratum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Apium prostratum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Bridgewater present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory