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Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Fabaceae
Bossiaea ensata

Citation: Sieber ex DC., Prod. 2:117 (1825).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Sword bossiaea.

Erect or sprawling glabrous shrub, 1-2 m high, with branches flattened into winged cladodes 5-10 mm wide (in S. Aust.), indented by the nodes where are seated triangular 1-2 mm long brown leathery scale-leaves; leaves commonly absent, rarely present on young shoots.

Flowers solitary, c. 8 mm long, in notches of the stem, on pedicels c. 2 mm long; bracts 2 at the base of the pedicel, lanceolate, c. 0.5 mm long, leathery, brown; bracteoles 2, distal on the pedicel, remote from each other and the calyx, lanceolate, 1.5-2 mm long, brown, leathery, faintly striate lengthwise; calyx campanulate, c. 4.5 mm long, glabrous, brown, leathery; the upper 2 teeth slightly larger and falcately diverging; the lower 3 lanceolate, all ciliate on the margins and shorter than the tube; standard broadly-ovate, emarginate; lamina recurred, blotched or streaked on the back, yellow within; wings shorter, oblong, shortly auriculate, darker; keel shortest, semicircular, on a long claw under the short auricle, obtuse tip dark-red; ovary stipitate, oblong, glabrous, c. 6-seeded, tapering into a recurved style, with a capitellate stigma.

Pod stipitate, linear, 30-40 x c. 8 mm, flattened, red-brown.

image of FSA2_Bossiaea_ens.jpg Bossiaea ensata twig and flower.
Image source: fig 372b in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Rotherham et al. (1975) Flowers and plants of New South Wales and southern Queensland, fig. 72.

Distribution:    Qld; N.S.W.; Vic.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: Oct.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: A variable species with cladodes resembling those of B. bracteosa F. Muell. ex Benth., but lacking the spirally imbricate bracts of the latter which conceal the pedicel and the upper 2 calyx teeth relatively larger and more falcate than the more uniform calyx teeth of the latter. From B. scleropendria (Andrews)Smith it differs mainly in having smaller flowers.

Author: Not yet available

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