Crassula helmsii (Kirk) Cockayne

Swamp Crassula

Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 39: 349 (1907) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Perennial aquatic or semi-aquatic herb with branches decumbent, usually to c. 12 cm long, often rooting at nodes, rarely floating and to 30 cm long. Leaves c. linear to narrowly elliptic, 3–18 mm long, 0.4–3 mm wide, acute to acuminate at least when young, flat above, often very convex below; sheath 0.4–1 mm long. Flowers solitary in axil of 1 leaf at usually non-successive nodes and on alternating sides of a branch; 4-merous; calyx-lobes oblong-triangular, 0.8–1.9 mm long, acute to obtuse; corolla white tinged red, lobes oblong-oblanceolate, 1.2–2.1 mm long, usually acute, spreading to recurved; nectary scales narrowly oblong-cuneate, 0.6–1.1 mm long, 0.17–0.35 mm wide, truncate; carpels obovoid, each with 2–10 ovules, styles at least half as long as carpels. Follicles poral; fruiting pedicel scarcely elongating 1.8–7 mm long; seeds 0.40–0.55 mm long, smooth and without longitudinal ridges. Flowers mainly Aug.–Nov.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MonT, MuF, MuM, MSB, NIS, OtP, OtR, RobP, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Also WA, SA, NSW, Tas., New Zealand. Introduced and rapidly spreading in England and central Europe. Typically occurring along banks of rivers, creeks, lakes or swamps and showing great tolerance to temporary or prolonged inundation and/or high salt levels.

Plants vary from a moss-like habit with often prostrate branches to 2 cm high, frequently rooting at the nodes and with short leaves, to those with floating branches to 35 cm long, little branched and usually with no adventitious roots, and with much larger leaves.

Source: Toelken, H.R.; Jeanes, J.A.; Stajsic, V. (1996). Crassulaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-10-12
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder [Saxifraganae]
order Saxifragales
family Crassulaceae
genus Crassula
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Crassula helmsii in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Crassula helmsii in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans 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
East Gippsland Uplands 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
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

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