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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Spermothamnion cymosum (Harvey) De Toni 1903: 1226.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Order Ceramiales – Family Ceramiaceae – Tribe Spermothamnieae

Selected citations: Gordon 1972: 117, fig. 38E. Huisman & Walker 1990: 425. Lucas 1909: 48. Millar & Kraft 1993: 42. Silva et al. 1996: 424.


Callithamnion cymosum Harvey 1855a: 560; 1863, synop.: xx. J. Agardh 1876: 10. Sonder 1881: 11.

Thallus (Fig. 104G) densely tufted, 2–4 cm high, with entangled, branched, prostrate filaments producing erect filaments which are sparingly and irregularly to subdichotomously branched. Prostrate filaments attached by digitate haptera; epilithic. Structure. Prostrate filaments 50–100 µm in diameter, cells L/D 5–10; erect filaments 60–85 µm in diameter, tapering only slightly, cells L/D 6–7. Cells multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid.

Reproduction: Gametophytes unknown.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 104G) terminal on short pedicels borne laterally on upper cells of erect axes, with further pedicels producing clusters, 50–70 µm in diameter, tetrahedrally (or with 8) divided.

Type from Middleton Bay, King George Sound, W. Aust., on sand-covered rocks; lectotype in Herb. Harvey; TCD (Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 524B); isotype in AD, A18288.

Selected specimens: Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., low eulittoral in bay near jetty (Womersley, 30.i.1956; AD, A20061, A20338).

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

Distribution: Rottnest I. to King George Sound, W. Aust., and Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Australia.

Lord Howe I.

Taxonomic notes: Placement of S. cymosum in Spermothamnion is uncertain in the absence of female plants.


AGARDH, J.G. (1876). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 1- Epicrisis systematic Floridearum, pp. i-vii, 1–724. (Weigel: Leipzig.)

DE TONI, G.B. (1903). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 3, pp. 775–1521 + 1523–1525. (Padua.)

GORDON, E.M. (1972). Comparative morphology and taxonomy of the Wrangelieae, Sphondylothamnieae and Spermothamnieae (Ceramiaceae, Rhodophyta). Aust. J. Bot. suppl. 4, 1–180.

HARVEY, W.H. (1855a). Some account of the marine botany of the colony of Western Australia. Trans. R. Jr. Acad. 22, 525–566.

HARVEY, W.H. (1863). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 5, Plates 241–300, synop., pp. i-lxxiii. (Reeve: London.)

HUISMAN, J.M. & WALKER, D.I. (1990). A catalogue of the marine plants of Rottnest Island, Western Australia, with notes on their distribution and biogeography. Kingia 1, 349–459.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1909). Revised list of the Fucoideae and Florideae of Australia. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 34, 9–60.

MILLAR, A.J.K. & KRAFT, G.T. (1993). Catalogue of marine and freshwater Red Algae (Rhodophyta) of New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island, South-western Pacific. Aust. Syst. Bot. 6, 1–90.

SILVA, P.C., BASSON, P.W. & MOE, R.L. (1996). Catalogue of the Benthic Marine Algae of the Indian Ocean. (University of California Press: Berkeley, Los Angeles & London.)

SONDER, O.W. (1881). In Mueller, F., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae. Supplementum ad volumen undecinum: Algae Australianae hactenus cognitae, pp. 1–42, 105–107. (Melbourne.)

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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (24 December, 1998)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIIC. Ceramiales – Ceramiaceae, Dasyaceae
©State Herbarium of South Australia, Government of South Australia

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 1998: FIG. 104G.

Figure 104 image

Figure 104   enlarge

Fig. 104. A–F. Spermothamnion pinnatum (AD, A27713). A. Prostrate and erect axes with tetrasporangia. B. Mature procarp system. C. Young carposporophyte with prominent fusion cell and involucral branches from subhypogenous cell. D. Erect axis with spermatangial heads. E. Longitudinal section of a spermatangial head. F. Prostrate and erect axes, with tetrasporangia. G. Spermothamnion cymosum (AD, A18288). Part of an erect axis with tetra- and octosporangia. (All as in Gordon 1972, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

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