Plants of
South Australia
Glycine tabacina
Leguminosae
Variable Glycine
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
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Keith
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Etymology

Glycine from the Greek 'glykys', meaning sweet, referring to the sweet roots and leaves of some species of the Glycine (soybean) genus. Tabacina from the Latin 'tabacinus' meaning of tobacco, possibly alluding to the tap root which have a liquorice flavour and was said to have been chewed by the Aborigines.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern Flinders Ranges, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in Eucalyptus camaldulensis woodland, more often in shady or moist gullies on sandy loam soils. Also found in all States (and Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Asia). Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Scrambling or twining herb to 1 m long. Leaves alternate, pinnately trifoliate; lower leaves broadly obovate to elliptic, to 15 mm long and 14 mm wide; net veined underneath; upper leaflets elliptic-lanceolate to narrowly oblong-lanceolate, to 50 mm long and 7 mm wide. Inflorescence a raceme to 14 cm long with blue to purple pea-shaped flowers to 6 mm long. Flowering between October and March. Fruits are dark brown to black linear pod to 30 mm long and 4.5 mm wide, usually twisting after dehiscence, sparsely hairy, containing 3-6 seeds. Seeds are black ovoid seed to 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, often truncate at the ends, with a slightly wrinkled surface. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and March. The pods of this pea change colour from pale green to a dark brown when mature. The seed pods twist and burst apart expelling the seeds when fully ripe so timing of seed collections is important. Monitor fruits closely, bag maturing fruits or place groundsheets under plants to catch seeds . Alternatively, the pods can be harvested close to maturity (when they turn brown) and fully dried in a warm area. Urrbrae Agricultural High School have been propagating this rare pea for the SEEDS projects and have provided 1900 seeds (13g) for the seed bank. The seeds used for the project were originally collected from Coromandel Valley (DJD115) and the propagated plants will be utilised in an SA Water restoration project at Chandlers Hill in 2017. Place the pods in a tray and cover with paper to prevent seeds popping out and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the dried pods to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. From four collections, the seed viability was high, at 100%. 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
 
MSB

1,000 (6.8 g)
40+30-Mar-2006DJD115
Southern Lofty
100%
BGA1,500 (9.85 g)10015-Feb-2005DJD115
Southern Lofty
31-Mar-2006100%-18°C
BGA130 (0.9 g)7+12-Feb-2008KHB118
Southern Lofty
19-Sep-2008100%-18°C
BGA100 (0.59 g)2016-Dec-2007KHB97A
Flinders Ranges
19-Sep-2008100%-18°C
BGA250 (1.65 g)5+3-Dec-2010KHB549
Southern Lofty
1-Jan-2012100%-18°C
BGA1,900 (12.98 g)3010-May-2017DJD115
Southern Lofty
1-Nov-201790%-18°C
BGA3,400 (19.25 g)23-Feb-2018DJD115
Southern Lofty
30-Jun-201860%-18°C
BGA2,600 (17.59 g)30+17-Jan-2019DJD115
Southern Lofty
24-Apr-201990%-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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