Seeds of South Australia
Crotalaria cunninghamii ssp. sturtii (Leguminosae)
Green Bird-flower
List of species for Crotalaria
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Seed collecting:
August to November
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Torrens (GAW06)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Kintore (GVD04)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [(no records) edge of range]
Tallaringa (GVD05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Simpson Desert (SSD02)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Least Concern
Dieri (SSD03) 
 Least Concern
Warriner (SSD04) 
 Near Threatened   [more records under C cunninghamii]
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Least Concern
Peake-Dennison Inlier (STP04)Stony Plains
 Least Concern   [(no records) records are under C cunninghamii]
Macumba (STP05) 
 Least Concern   [more records under C cunninghamii]
Witjira (STP06) 
 Least Concern   [more records under C cunninghamii]
Baltana (STP07) 
 Least Concern   [more records under C cunninghamii]
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern
Diamantina-Eyre (CHC04) 
 Least Concern   [more records under C cunninghamii]
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern
Lake Pure (CHC07) 
 Least Concern
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [(no records) edge of range]
Watarru (CER02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Pedirka (FIN04)Finke
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [more records under C cunninghamii]
IBRA regions
Torrens (GAW06)GawlerRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))
2 of 4 subregionsGreat Victoria DesertRare
4 of 4 subregionsSimpson Strzelecki DunefieldsLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
4 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsLeast Concern
4 of 4 subregionsChannel CountryLeast Concern
2 of 3 subregionsCentral RangesRare
Pedirka (FIN04)FinkeRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [more records under C cunninghamii]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Crotalaria]
Name derivation:
Crotalaria from the Greek 'crotalon' meaning a rattle, castanet, referring to the sound the dried seed pods make when shaken. Cunninghamii named after Allan Cunningham (1791-1839), an English botanist and explorer, primarily known for his travels in Australia to collect plants. Sturtii named after Captain Charles Sturt (1795-1869), a British explorer of Australia, and part of the European exploration of Australia.
Found mainly in the north-east corner and extending to the north-west corner of South Australia growing on sandy soils, usually sand dunes. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Common in South Australia. Very rare in New South Wales. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Erect shrub to 2 m high; branches stout, velvety, softly woody. Leaves 1-foliolate, rarely a few 3-foliolate; leaflets ovate to obovate, often broad, to 9 cm long and 6 cm wide; thick, softly- to velvety-tomentose on velvety petioles to 3 cm long. Pea-flowers large, yellow-green with purple veins in dense clusters. Flowering between May and October.
Fruit type:
Yellow-brown narrow-obovate pod to 45 mm long and 12 mm; velvety.
Seed type:
Orange-brown reinform seed to 7 mm long and  5 mm wide with a smooth surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods, those that are fat, turning yellow-brown and contain hard seeds.
Seed cleaning:
Place the pods in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then 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.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 95%.
Seed germination:
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:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA3400 (139.72 g)70-8027-Sep-2007MJT94
Lake Eyre
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.