Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Mecardonia procumbens (Mill.) Small

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
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Herbarium specimen. © CSIRO

Small, J.K. (1903) Flora of the Southeastern United States : 1065, 1338.

Common name

Baby jump up


Erect or prostrate glabrous ephemeral herb, often branched from the base, rooting at lower nodes. Stem sharply quadrangular and glabrous.


Leaves glabrous, without or with short petioles, elliptic to ovate-elliptic, 10-25 x 6-12 mm.


Flowers axillary, solitary; pedicel thin, glabrous, 4-6 mm long (longer in fruit, 6-18 mm), bracts 2-4 mm long, linear, mostly entire, located at the base of the pedicel. Sepals free, with acute base, glabrous, 5 -lobed, 6-10 mm long; the 3 outer lobes ovate-oblong, attenuate at apex, subobtuse at base, 8.5 x 4.5 mm, the 2 inner ones shorter, 5 x 0.4 mm, much narrower, linear; corolla bilabiate, yellow with purple lines on upper lip, slightly longer than the calyx, 7-7.5 x 6 mm; upper lip emarginate, tube 5-5.5 x 2-4 mm. Stamens 4, didynamous, partly adnate to floral tube; anther cells divaricate. Ovary superior, narrowly ovoid; style filiform, 1.3 mm long, curved at apex.


Capsule obscured by persistent sepals, narrowly ellipsoid, with 2 valves, glabrous, 5-6 mm long, dehiscent loculicidally and septicidally from apex, calyx accrescent, the outer sepals becoming 9 mm long and 5 mm wide. Seeds numerous, areolate-reticulate, yellow or greenish brown, oblong with obtuse or truncate apex and subobtuse base, 0.3-0.8 x 0.2 mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1160 m. Grows in moist spots in disturbed areas, in stream beds and along tracks and roads through rainforest, Eucalypt forest, Casuarina forest, vine forest and various types of woodland.

Natural History & Notes

Common weed of lawns, gardens and agriculture.

Bacopa procumbens (Mill.) Greenm., Publications of the Field Columbian Museum. Botanical Series 2(6): 261-262(1907). Erinus procumbens Mill., Gardeners Dictionary Edn. 8. : 6(1768).
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