Willd. Sp. Pl. 3:1235 (1802) var. australis.
Synonymy: I. australis Willd. var. angulata Benth., Fl. Aust. 2:200 (1864); I. australis Willd. var. minor Benth., Fl. Aust. 2:200 (1864).
Common name: Austral (or native or hill) indigo.
Slender erect branching shrub to 2 m high, branches usually reddish-brown, glabrescent; leaves 1.5-10 cm long; leaflets 5-21, distinctly petiolulate, oval or obovate to oblong or oblong-cuneate, 5-35 x 2.5-15 mm, obtuse or retuse, sprinkled with a few hairs or hairy on both surfaces or more so on the lower with appressed pubescence, having a greenish or a dark blue-green appearance; stipules triangular, 1-2 mm, leathery, slightly pubescent; stipels reduced to filiform reddish glands, often minute and inconspicuous.
Inflorescence a slender many-flowered (to 25 or more) generally loose raceme 1.5-14 (usually 5-8) cm long, usually shorter than the leaves; bracts triangular, c. 0.5 mm, brown, leathery, pubescent, persistent; pedicels slender, 1.5-2.5 mm long, at first erect, later pendulous; calyx broad-campanulate, 1.5-2.5 mm long, with short appressed red and often white branched hairs, after anthesis abruptly truncate at the base, oblique at the top; upper portion of the tube short, with the upper 2 teeth blunt or more often absent; the lower portion of the tube expanded into a lip with 3 more or less developed teeth the lowest being the longest, sometimes as long as the tube; petals deep-pink to pale-purple or bright-lilac; standard longest, orbicular, 7-9 mm long, shortly clawed, pubescent on both surfaces or glabrous on the back; wings and keel obtuse, about equal in length.
Pod cylindrical, slightly 4-angled in cross-section, 20-40 x 2-3 mm, brown, glabrous, or with inconspicuous strigose hairs, 5-1 O-seeded; seeds cuboid, 1.5-2 mm, dark-brown, rough-texture.
Image source: fig. 306A in J.P. Jessop and H.R. Toelken Ed. 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).|
Rotherham et al. (1975) Flowers and plants of New South Wales and southern Queensland, fig. 244; Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 396.
All States, especially in the east and at higher altitudes.
Flowering time: July — Sept.
SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia
This variable species shows affinities with I. brevidens from which it differs in the dark indumentum on the calyx and from I. uncinata in the upper 2 calyx-teeth being reduced to 2 blunt lobes. Plants with long-oblong leaves tend to have long inflorescences. Some plants from FR have small (c. 5 mm) truncate orbicular leaflets, with quite a soft texture, as in I. coronillaefolia Cunn. but the branches are glabrescent and not densely tomentose as in the latter which also has quite firm leaflets. The angular-branched variety described by Bentham (1864) is common but as it grades into the typical variety it is not considered as a distinct variety.
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