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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Leguminosae
Crotalaria cunninghamii

Citation: R. Br. in Sturt, Exped. Centr. Aust., Bot. App. 71 (1849).

Synonymy: C. cunninghamii R. Br. var. trifoliolata J. Black, Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 41:651 (1917).

Common name: Birdflower, regal (or green) birdflower, parrot plant (or pea), Stuarts pea.

Erect shrub to 2 m high, branches stout, velvety, softly woody; leaves 1-foliolate, rarely a few 3-foliolate, leaflets ovate to obovate, often broad, 2-9 x 1.5-6 cm, thick, softly- to velvety-tomentose, on velvety petioles 1-3 cm long and articulate or (on trifoliolate leaves) geniculate distally; stipules subulate, 2-3 mm long, woolly-pubescent, caducous.

Flowers 30-60 mm long, on villous pedicels 5-15 mm long, in terminal racemes 3-25 cm long, usually distal in dense clusters, few to many (10 or more); bracts lanceolate-subulate, c. 10 mm long, villous, caducous; bracteoles distal on the pedicels, subulate, c. 5 mm long, villous, caducous; calyx campanulate, c. 15 mm long, velvety-pubescent, green-brown; lobes lanceolate, acuminate to subulate, longer than the calyx tube, lower 3 slightly longer and united higher up; petals yellow-green with purple veins, standard ovate, acute, 3-5 cm long; wings on ciliate claws, ovate, acute, shortest; keel very long-acute, spirally twisted at the apex, rather longer than the other petals; ovary tomentose, with c. 20 ovules.

Pod stipitate, narrow-obovate in outline, 30-45 x 10-12 mm, velvety.

image of FSA2_Crotalaria_cun.jpg Crotalaria cunninghamii twig, flower and legume.
Image source: fig 380a in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 387.

Distribution:  Occurs on sandy soils, usually sand dunes.

  W.Aust.; N.T.; Qld; N.S.W.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: Flowers and/or fruits: May — Oct.

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

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available

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