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

Family: Fabaceae
Swainsona lessertiifolia

Citation: DC., Ann. Sci. nat. sÚr. 1, 4:99 (1825).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Bog pea, coast swainson-pea, Darling pea, poison-pea, poison vetch.

Erect or ascending herbs with rather robust pithy stems 10-30 cm long or more; if densely pubescent the hairs basifixed, if sparser the hairs short, fine, laterally attached to asymmetrically medifixed, occurring on stems leaves and peduncles; leaves 4-11, mostly 6-9 cm long, with 13-19 leaflets; leaflets narrow-elliptic to elliptic, 4-25 x 2-10 mm, mostly 9-18 x 4-7 mm, emarginate, obtuse or almost acute, glabrous above, densely or sparsely appressed-villous below; stipules ovate, 2-7 mm long, acute or subacute, usually hairy outside.

Flowers 8-10 mm long, on dark-haired pedicels 2-4 mm long, in 12-25-flowered racemes, on the distal half of the 10-24 cm long stiff peduncles corresponding in density of pubescence with that of the leaves; bract lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, 2-3 mm long, finally scarious, hoary; bracteoles lanceolate, to 1 mm long; calyx campanulate, 3.5-5 mm long, black-hairy, rarely white; teeth triangular-subulate, usually shorter than the tube; petals purplish rarely white; standard broadly ovate, shallowly notched, 12-14 mm broad, obliquely veined, often with 2 yellowish-green blotches centrally, ecallose, lamina abruptly ending in a c. 3 mm long claw; wings shortest, oblong, tip broadly rounded, on a slender 2-3.5 mm long claw; keel lamina obovate, with or without a pair of shallow folds above the c. 3 mm long claw; ovary stipitate, fusiform, appressed-pubescent at first with white later dark-brown hairs; style slender, tapering gradually into a straight tip, bearded all the way but chiefly in the upper half; tip occasionally more or less truncate, no hairs behind the stigma.

Pod sessile or subsessile, oblong or ovoid-oblong, 15-30 x 5-8 mm, inflated, with firm walls, reticulate, the suture not intruded until apparently dehiscence has commenced, to 20-seeded; seed obliquely cordiform, c. 2 mm across, olive-green and black mottled, pitted.

image of FSA2_Swainsona_les.jpg
Image source: fig. 334B in J.P. Jessop and H.R. Toelken Ed. 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cochrane et al. (1968) Flowers and plants of Victoria, fig. 291.

Distribution:  especially frequent on sand-hummocks along the coast.

S.Aust.: GT, EP, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE.   N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: June — Oct.

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

Biology: Poisonous to stock; reported by one collector to make horses mad (S. A. White, 1908).

Author: Not yet available

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