Plants of
South Australia
Pultenaea trinervis
Leguminosae
Three-nerve Bush-pea
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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
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 4.

Etymology

Pultenaea named after Richard Pulteney (1730-1801), an English physician, botanist and biographer of Carl Linnaeus. Trinervis from the Latin 'tri' meaning three and 'nervis' meaning nerve; referring to the three prominent veins on the leaves.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found on the Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, growing in heath and mallee, often dominated by Allocasuarina muelleriana, Eucalyptus baxteri, E. diversifolia, E. cladocalyx or E. leucoxylon on sand to gravelly clay over sandstone, sometimes over limestone. Native. Uncommon in South Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect to prostrate shrub to 0.5 m high, branchlets sparsely to densely hairy. Leaves alternate, to 13.5 mm long and 2–4 mm wide, elliptic, rigid, acute, fine point but not pungent, concave and glabrous above, hairy beneath and on the margins, 3-nerved. Inflorescence 1 or 2 terminally on short branchlets or axillary with yellow to orange with red striations at front pea-flowers. Flowering between September and January. Fruits are hairy brown ovoid pod to 3.5 mm long. Seeds are wrinkled black reniform seed to 2.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, with a cream aril. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and February. Collect maturing pods, those that are brown or turning brown and contain hard dark seeds inside. Place the pods in a paper bag and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the pods with a rubber bung 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 95%. This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate. The seed coat needs to be ruptured so that water can enter the seed before germination can occur. Methods to rupture the seed coat include scarification with sand paper or nicking the seed coat with a sharp blade or hot water treatment by immersion in boiling water.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
700 (1.9 g)
1,000 (2.5 g)
30+16-Dec-2015TST1249
Kangaroo Island
2-May-201795%-18°C
BGA6,250 (8.96 g)1007-Jan-2020JRG727
Southern Lofty
24-Jun-202090%-18°C, -80°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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