Plants of
South Australia
Swainsona burkittii
Leguminosae
Woolly Darling Pea
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
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Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2

Etymology

Swainsona named after Isaac Swainson (1746-1812, an English scientist and horticulturalist who had a private botanic garden near London. Burkittii named in honour of Samuel Burkitt, a botanical collector.

Distribution and status

Found in red sandy or loamy soils on open plain or shrubland north of Spencers Gulf of South Australia. Also found in New South Wales. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. More common in New South Wales.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM region: South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

An erect or procumbent perennial herb to 1m high and often forming a bush with many hairy stems arising from the taproot. Leaves 8-15cm long with 7-30 leaflets with hairs on both sides. Flowers dark reddish purple. Fruits are paper pod 5-8 mm long and about as wide covered in hairs. Seeds are orange to yellow, semi-flat reniform seeds to 3mm long with a smooth and shiny surface. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect mature pods. Mature pods can be found lying on the ground next to the plant containing hard seeds. Place the pods to dry and use a rubber bung to rub the pods or break the pods open with your fingers 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 two collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 85% to 90%. This species has physical dormancy that need 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
BGA3,500 (12.35 g)500+27-Jan-2010KHB354
Flinders Ranges
1-Jun-201085%-18°C
BGA4,400 (18.11 g)50+13-Dec-2010KHB551
Flinders Ranges
1-Jan-201290%-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.