Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Amphibolis griffithii (J. Black) den Hartog 1970: 208, fig. 58–59.

Phylum Magnoliophyta – Subphylum Seagrasses – Class Liliopsida – Subclass Alismatidae – Order Potamogetonales – Family Cymodoceaceae

Selected citations: Aston 1973: 305. Green 1981: 5. Jessop 1978: 75.


Pectinella griffithii J. Black 1915: 94.

Cymodocea griffithii (J. Black) J. Black 1929: 664.

Dioecious; perennial (Fig. 28C) with creeping, lignified rhizomes (1–) 1.5–2 mm thick; erect stems 1–1.5 mm in diameter, branched, 0.5–1 m tall. Roots (1–) 2 at each node, branched. Leaves (Fig. 32A–D) in tufts of (3–) 4–5 tightly grouped together at the ends of branches; sheath (Fig. 32A,B,D) clasping, 1.5–2 cm long with the margins overlapping for most of their length; ligule and auricles vestigial; blade (Fig. 32D) (3–) 5–10 cm long, 3–7 mm broad, L/B 10–15, flat, not twisted or by 45–90° in the upper part; apex (Fig. 32C) deeply notched with 2 obtuse marginal teeth (marginal teeth absent in juvenile leaves of the seedling). Squamules (Fig. 32E,F) 1–1.5 mm long, lanceolate, in 2 groups of 2–3. Male flower (Fig. 32G,H) anthers 8–10 (–12) mm long, with 2–3 simple or laciniate appendages (2–) 3–5 mm long with or without a small laciniate bract at the base, pedicel (Fig. 321) elongating to 5–10 mm at the time of anthesis. Female flower (Fig. 32J) with (0–) 1-several small, filiform bracts, 1–2 mm long, at the base of the carpels, each carpel with a style 3–5 mm long and 3 stigmatic branches 10–12(44) mm long (rarely branching), pericarpic lobes (Fig. 32J,K) 4 (2 broad and 2 narrow) in one whorl. The development of the flower and of the viviparous seedling is similar to that of A. antarctica. The pericarpic lobes lose their fleshy covering, exposing the bony comb (about 5–7 mm long) of the grappling apparatus, the 2 narrow lobes with 11–15 teeth, the 2 broad lobes each with 18–26 teeth. Seedling (Fig. 32K,L) leaves linear, entire, at first without the notched apex of the adult leaf.

Lectotype from Henley Beach, S. Aust. (Griffith, 1.xi.1913); in AD, 9642217.

Selected specimens: Cliff Head, W. Aust., 1–1.5 m deep (Kirkman & Joll, 18.ix.1979; ADU, A51170). W of Tiparra reef, Spencer Gulf, S. Aust., 12 m deep (Shepherd, 27.vii.1970; ADU, A35980). Tiparra reef, Spencer Gulf, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 11.i.1978; ADU, A49414). Pondalowie Bay, S. Aust., drift (Robertson, 19.ix.1981; ADU, A52621). Marino, S. Aust., 2–3 m deep (Owen, Jan. 1970; ADU, A35725). Victor Harbor, S. Aust., 0–3 m deep in a sheltered cove near the Bluff (Clarke & Engler, 7.ii.1981; ADU, A51986 ♂ and A51988 ♀).

Distribution map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of SA

Distribution: From Champion Bay, W. Aust. south and eastwards to Victor Harbor, S. Aust. A griffithii occurs in pure stands or in mixed communities with A. antarctica from low tide to a depth of 5 m. Below 5 m, A. griffithii extends into rougher localities and tolerates lower light intensities than A. antarctica. Cambridge (1975) records A. griffithii from 40 m deep in clear oceanic water.


ASTON, H. (1973). Aquatic plants of Australia. (Melbourne University Press: Melbourne.)

BLACK, J.M. (1915). Additions to the flora of South Australia, No. 8. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 39, 94–97.

BLACK, J.M. (1929). Flora of South Australia, 1st Edn. Part 4. (Govt. Printer: Adelaide.)

CAMBRIDGE, M.L. (1975). Seagrasses of south-western Australia with special reference to the ecology of Posidonia australis Hook. f. in a polluted environment. Aquat. Bot. 1, 149–161.

DEN HARTOG, C. (1970). The seagrasses of the World. Verh. k. ned. Akad. Wet. Afd. Natuurk., ser. 2, 59(1), 1–275 (-1–31 Plates).

GREEN, J.W. (1981). Census of the Vascular Plants of Western Australia. (Western Australian Herbarium: South Perth.)

JESSOP, J.P. (1978). J.M. Black's Flora of South Australia. 3rd edn. Part I. (Govt. Printer: Adelaide.)

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part I complete list of references.

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (31 May, 1984)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Part I
©Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, Government of South Australia

Illustrations in Womersley Part I, 1984: FIGS 28C, 32.

Figure 28 image

Figure 28   enlarge

Fig. 28 A. Thalassodendron pachyrhizum (ADU, A52947). Habit. B. Amphibolis antarctica (ADU, A52563). Habit. C. Amphibolis griffithii (ADU, A35725). Habit.

Figure 32 image

Figure 32   enlarge

Fig. 32. Amphibolis griffithii. A. Leaf (adaxial face) showing blade (bl.), sheath (sh.), auricles (a.) and ligule (l.). B. Leaf (abaxial face). C. Variation in leaf apices. D. Leaf showing venation of blade. E. Squamules (sq.) in position at node (subtending leaf removed). F. Squamules. G. Male flower at the apex of a lateral shoot (leaves pulled apart to expose anthers). H. Male flower removed from surrounding leaves showing anthers and bract (br.). I. Apex of lateral shoot on male plant after anthesis, showing elongated pedicel partly removed from sheath. J. Female flower removed from parent plant, showing pericarpic lobes (pc.l.), 2 carpels (each with 3 stigmatic branches (s.b.) and a bract (br.). K. Developing seedling viviparous on female plant, surrounded by enlarged pericarpic lobes. Note leaf scars (l.sc.) on parent plant. L. Seedling after release from parent plant. Note bony comb-like lobes (co.) of grappling apparatus. (A,B,D–F, J from ADU, A51988. C from ADU, A49414, G–I from ADU, A51986. K from ADU, A35980. L from ADU, A52621.)

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