Plants of
South Australia
Swainsona greyana
Leguminosae
Hairy Darling pea,
Darling Pea
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
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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

Common names

Hairy Darling pea

Darling Pea

Etymology

Swainsona named after Isaac Swainson (1746-1812, an English scientist and horticulturalist who had a private botanic garden near London. Greyana named in honour of Sir George Grey (1812-1898) an explorer, governor, politician and keen naturalist.

Distribution and status

Found along the River Murray in South Australia. It is limited to the heavy grey soils of the Banks and flats of the lower Murray River and the Darling River and its major tributaries in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in other states.
Herbarium region: Murray
NRM region: South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Shrub-like perennial to 1-2 m high. Leaves 4-16 cm long, with 11-23 woolly, oblong or narrow-oblong leaflets. Flowers white, pink or purple with the keel being apex obtuse and obscurely lipped. Flowering September - March. Fruits are balloon-like papery pod 25-49mm long and 10-30mm wide, tapered at both ends. Seeds are seed reniform, 1-5 mm, olive-green or brown, fine textured. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and March. Collect mature pods that are turning pale brown with hard seeds in side. Place the pods in a tray and leave to dry for a week. Rub the papery pods with your fingers or 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 three collections, the seed viability were average to high, ranging from 70% 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:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA138 (1.25 g)105-Dec-2008KHB185
Murray
20-Jul-200970%-18°C
BGA1,800 (22.35 g)1519-Mar-2009TST724
Murray
20-Jul-200990%-18°C
BGA880 (7.44 g)12+14-Dec-2011MJT371
Murray
1-Nov-201276%-18°C
BGA30,000 (324.2 g)100+31-Jan-2018JRG651
Murray
30-Jun-201890%-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.