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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Leguminosae
Clianthus formosus

Citation: Ford & Vick., Contr. N.S.W. natn. Herb. 1:303 (1950).

Synonymy: Donia formosa Don, Gen. Syst. 2:468 (1832); D. speciosa Don, Gen. Syst. 2:468 (1832); C. speciosus (Don)Asch. & Graebner, Syn. Mitteleur. Fl. 6:725 (1909), non Steudel; C. dampieri Cunn. in Lindley, Trans. Hort. Soc. London 1:522 (1835); C. oxleyi Cunn. in Lindley, Trans. Hort. Soc. London 1:522 (1835); Colutea novaehollandiae J. Woodw. in Dampier, Voy. Nov. Holl. (1703), not validly published.

Common name: Sturts desert-pea, marlu pedi, blood flower.

Prostrate or procumbent, annual or biennial, villous; stems thick, pithy, to 1 m or more long; leaves 5-12 cm long, with 11-17 leaflets; leaflets narrow to broad, elliptic-obovate or cuneate, acute to retuse, 10-30 x 6-15 mm, grey-green, villous; stipules ovate, acute, often cordate, to 10 mm long sometimes more, green, villous.

Flowers 7-9 cm from tip of standard to tip of keel, bright-red rarely pink or white, on pedicels 5-20 mm long, 3-6 in axillary umbelliform racemes; peduncles 5-15 cm long, villous; bract at the base of the pedicel, ovate-lanceolate, subulate apically, green, villous; calyx campanulate, c. 20 mm long, villous; lobes lanceolate, longer than the calyx tube, midrib terminating in an acute to subulate point; bracteoles attached below the calyx, linear-lanceolate, 5-7 x 1-2 mm, villous; standard erect, ovate, long-acute, c. 5 cm long, base domed into a usually black shiny boss; wings lanceolate, c. 3 cm long, scarcely falcate; keel as long as the standard, incurved, directed straight down, long-acute, beaked; anthers oblong; ovary villous.

Pod stipitate, narrow-elliptic, turgid, 5-8 cm long, acute, usually with a long persistent style, coriaceous, pubescent, with many reniform c. 2.5 mm wide brown dull seeds; valves involute after dehiscence.

image of FSA2_Clianthus_for.jpg
Image source: fig. 324C in J.P. Jessop and H.R. Toelken Ed. 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, 386.

Distribution:    W.Aust.; N.T.; Qld; N.S.W.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: July — March.

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

Biology: The S.Aust. State flower. Dampier's publication in which he illustrated a specimen from W.Aust., is one of the earliest to contain descriptions and figures of Australian plants.

Author: Not yet available

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