Plants of
South Australia
Daviesia asperula ssp. asperula
Leguminosae
Kangaroo Island Bitter-pea
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Vulnerable
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Daviesia named after the Rev. Hugh Davies (1739-1821), a Welsh botanist and an Anglican clergyman. Asperula from the Latin 'asper' meaning rough, referring to the slight roughness of the branchlets and phyllodes.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found mainly on Kangaroo Island with outliers on southern Eyre Peninsula and a single record from the tip of Fleurieu Peninsula, growing on poor soils of sand or laterite in mallee or open-forest. Native. Uncommon in South Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Compact or spreading shrub to 2 m tall, the branchlets greenish, with several longitudinal minutely scabrid ribs. Phyllodes subulate, compressed laterally or subterete, recurved only near the base; to 30 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, tapering from the base into the pungent point. Flower-spike a raceme with 2-3 orange or yellow with a deep-red-centred pea-flowers. This subspecies differ from Daviesia asperula ssp.obliqua which has a shorter and broader leaves. Flowering between September and October. Fruits are brown broad-triangular pod to 14 mm long and 10 mm wide, with one seed inside. Seeds are brown with black mottled globular reniform seed to 6 mm long and 4.5 mm wide, and a cream aril. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect maturing brown seed pods from the plant, using secateurs or by hand. Plant is prickly so it is advisable to wear gloves. Leave the pods in a paper bag to dry for at least a week. Rub the pods gently with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the seeds from unwanted material. Store the dried fruit heads with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 90%. This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA1,426 (20.49 g)1068-Jan-2004MKJ13
Kangaroo Island
1-Sep-200495%+5°C, -18°C
BGA 
MSB
900 (10 g)
1,000 (11 g)
50+15-Dec-2015TST1233
Kangaroo Island
2-May-201790%-18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
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