Plants of
South Australia
Kennedia prorepens
Leguminosae
Running Violet
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3.

Etymology

Kennedia, named after Lewis Kennedy (1775-1818), a nurseryman at Hammersmith, near London. Prorepens means creeping, alluding to the species habit.

Distribution and status

Found in the north-western part of South Australia growing on red sand and gravelly soils. Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in Queensland and Northern Territory. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium region: North Western
NRM region: Alinytjara Wilurara
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Many-stemmed, prostrate herb with semi-woody stem somewhat pithy, to 0.5 m long; covered in hairs. Leaves with 3 leaflets, on petioles to 2 cm long, covered in short velvety hairs. Flowers violet or maroon-red in whorl-like clusters of 1-4 along a long erect stalk. Flowering between August and October. Fruits are long brown pod to 40 mm long and 6 mm wide. Seeds are brown with dark spots, reniform seed to 4 mm long. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and December. Collect mature pods; those turning brown and containing dark hard seeds. 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 pods with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the 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. This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).