Plants of
South Australia
Swainsona murrayana
Leguminosae
Murray's Slender Darling-Pea
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
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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. Murrayana named after the Murray River, where the type species was collected from.

Distribution and status

Found only in Boolcoomatta Station, west of Broken Hill in South Australia, growing in depressions in chenopod plains on heavy soils. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales & Victoria. Native. Very rare in South Australia. Very rare in the other states.
Herbarium region: Eastern
NRM region: South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Prostrate or erect perennial herb to 25 cm high covered in fine hairs. Leaves are narrow, lance-shaped and in groups of 3-11. Flowers on a long erect stalk, usually pink with a twisted keel. Flowering between July and October. Fruits are long narrow pods to 6cm long and covered in fine hairs. Seeds are yellow orange (some with dark spots) reniform seeds to 2.5mm long with a wrinkled surface. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and December. Collect pods by hand when seeds are hard and turning orange, usually when pods start to turn straw brown on the plant or on the ground. Place the pods in a tray to dry for a week. Then rub the pods firmly 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 four collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 90% to 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
BGA1,300 (9.21 g)922-Oct-2008DJD1166
Eastern
20-Jul-200990%-18°C
BGA6,000 (38.07 g)4522-Oct-2008DJD1167
Eastern
20-Jul-200990%-18°C
BGA 
MSB
7,500 (47.61 g)
7,500 (47.61 g)
10022-Oct-2008MJT160
Eastern
20-Jul-2009100%-18°C
BGA6,000 (44.78 g)7522-Oct-2008DJD1168
Eastern
20-Jul-2009100%-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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