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

Family: Fabaceae
Swainsona canescens

Citation: F. Muell., Fragm. Phyt. Aust. 3:46 (1862).

Synonymy: Cyclogyne canescens Benth. ex Lindley., Sketch Veg. Swan Riv. Col. xvi (1840). , Swainsona canescens

Common name: None

Ascending or suberect perennial with stout rigid but herbaceous stems 20 or more cm long and more than 3 mm thick basally; indumentum on stems, leaves and peduncle of rather dense long fine basifixed white and/or cream-coloured spreading hairs; leaves 5-12 cm long, with 9-15 commonly 10-13 leaflets; leaflets obovate or broad-elliptic to oblong, 10-20 x 5-15 mm, sometimes with a shallow notch and apiculate, almost glabrous above or silky on both faces; stipules ovate-acute, 3-7 mm long, leafy.

Flowers 8-9 mm long on pubescent pedicels to 1 mm long in 20-35-flowered dense racemes on the distal half or two-thirds of the 10-20 cm long stout peduncles; bract narrow-triangular, to 5 mm long, acuminate, glabrous inside; bracteoles lanceolate, 1-3 mm long; calyx 4-6 mm long, white-woolly to silky-villous; teeth broad- to narrow-triangular and acuminate, equal to or longer than the tube; petals purple; standard widely ovate, slightly broader than long, minutely notched, gradually tapered into the wide triangular claw tapering to the base, ecallose or with a pair of thickened diverging ridges near the top of the claw, with green markings off the lamina centrally; wings oblong, shortest, obtuse, strongly auriculate above the short claw; keel semicircular, subacute, beaked, with a small expanded callous tip, without any pouches or folds, with a wide semicircular auricle, over c. 3 mm long, on a linear claw; ovary subsessile, cylindrical, densely silky with appressed or spreading hairs, continued onto the style; style stout, laterally compressed in the lower two-thirds of its length, bearded throughout, but hairs longer at the base and inside the inflexed to coiled tip;

Pod oblong, 10-15 x c. 4 mm, suture sometimes impressed, densely woolly-tomentose, to 10-seeded; seed reniform, to 2 mm long, olive-green to brown, smooth, shiny.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: NW, LE, NU, GT, FR, EP.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: mainly May — Oct.

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

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: Shows similarities with S. burkittii in which the keel is subacute to obtuse without the expanded callous tip.

Key to Infraspecific taxa:
1. Leaflets densely tomentose on both sides, the upper surface sometimes a little less densely; ovary with spreading hairs
var. canescens 5a.
1. Leaflets glabrous above, or rarely with a few hairs near the base; ovary with appressed hairs
var. horniana 5b.

Author: Not yet available

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