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

Family: Fabaceae
Swainsona swainsonioides

Citation: A. Lee ex J. Black, Fl. S. Aust. 470 (1948).

Synonymy: Cyclogyne swainsonioides Benth. in T.L. Mitchell, J. Trop. Austral. 397 (1848); S. procurebens (F. Muell.)F. Muell. var. minor Benth., Fl. Aust. 2:220 (1864); S. oncinotropis F. Muell., Chem.& Drugg. Australas. 7:45 (1884). , Swainsona procumbens

Common name: Downy swainsona (or swainsona-pea), downy Darling pea.

Variable perennial, at first weakly ascending, the stems finally radiating from the central tap root, forming in more or less dense clumps up to 1 m across and to 60 cm high; pubescence sparse to moderately dense, of white fine basifixed curved-spreading to loosely appressed hairs; leaves to 15 cm long, with 11-21 (usually 17) leaflets (in larger plants widely spaced); leaflets pointed, obovate or narrow-obovate to almost cuneate or broad- to narrow-elliptic, 5-30 ~ 2-12 mm, glabrous above, moderately to sparsely pubescent below; stipules deltoid, acuminate or not, 6-15 mm long, at first leafy, later semiscarious, pubescent.

Flowers 8-15 mm long, on pedicels c. 5 mm long and often with dark hairs, in 6-15-flowered loose racemes, on the distal third of the relatively robust glabrous or sparsely hairy 10-30 cm long peduncle; bract triangular, equalling or longer than the pedicel, scarious, pubescent; bracteoles narrow-ovate, 1-2.5 mm, scarious; calyx 5-7 mm long, almost glabrous or pubescent with white hairs; teeth triangular, acuminate or not, equalling or longer than the tube, long-ciliate; petals blue to purple; standard elliptic, conspicuously notched, distinctly broader than long, without calli except occasionally with 2 slightly thickened divergent lines above the broad c. 1.5 mm long claw; wings oblong, obtuse, shortest, broadly auriculate above the slender c. 1 mm long claw; keel with a distinct incomplete spiral twist; tip narrow, obtuse, bluish, incurved to hooked when C-shaped or recurved and twisted sideways when S-shaped in outline, without any fold or pouches, distinctly auriculate above the 4-5 mm long and slender claw; ovary sessile, fusiform, densely pubescent with appressed hairs, suddenly attenuated into the slender style; style elongated within the keel, bearded only near the summit; tip hooked or incurred, without hairtufts behind the stigma.

Pod ovoid-oblong, straight or slightly upturned at the tip, 35-40 x 7-9 mm, narrowed at both ends, suture intruded to the base, valves firm and thick, scarcely reticulate, hoary with sparse curly hairs, to 20-seeded; seed obliquely cordiform, c. 2.5 mm across, brown, dull.

image of FSA2_Swainsona_swa.jpg
Image source: fig. 340B in J.P. Jessop and H.R. Toelken Ed. 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Rotherham et al. (1975) Flowers and plants of New South Wales and southern Queensland, p. 153; Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 421.

Distribution:  occurs on heavy soils in S.Aust.

S.Aust.: NW, LE, EA.   Qld; N.S.W.; Vic..

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: Aug. — Sept.

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. procumbens which has an attenuated yellow tip to the keel and an indumentum of flattened appressed hairs.

Author: Not yet available

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