Seeds of South Australia
Glycine tabacina (Leguminosae)
Variable Glycine
List of species for Glycine
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Seed collecting:
November to March
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South East
IBRA region
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1+2)   [highly localised; likes heavy, black, alluvial soils]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR D)   (Probable Decline)   [limited habitat, heavy soils, localised]
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 Glycine]
Name derivation:
Glycine from the Greek 'glykys' meaning sweet; referring to the sweet roots and leaves of some species of the Glycine (soybean) genus. Tabacina from the Latin 'tabacinus' meaning of tabacco, possibly alluding to the tap root which have a liquorice flavour and was said to have been chewed by the Aborigines.
Found in the southern Flinders Ranges, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in Eucalyptus camaldulensis woodland, more often in shady or moist gullies on sandy loam soils. Also found in all states (and Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Asia).
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Scrambling or twining herb to 1 m long. Leaves alternate, pinnately trifoliate, lower leaves broadly obovate to elliptic, to 15 mm long and 14 mm wide, net veined underneath, upper leaflets elliptic-lanceolate to narrowly oblong-lanceolate, to 50 mm long and 7 mm wide. Inflorescence a raceme to 14 cm long with blue to purple pea-shaped flowers to 6 mm long. Flowering between October and March.
Fruit type:
Dark brown to black linear pod to 30 mm long and 4.5 mm wide, usually twisting after dehiscence, sparsely hairy, containing 3-6 seeds.
Seed type:
Black ovoid seed to 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, often truncate at the ends, with a slightly wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
The pods of this pea change colour from pale green to a dark brown when mature. The seed pods twist and burst apart expelling the seeds when fully ripe so timing of seed collections is important. Monitor fruits closely, bag maturing fruits or place groundsheets under plants to catch seeds . Alternatively, the pods can be harvested close to maturity (when they turn brown) and fully dried in a warm area. Urrbrae Agricultural High School have been propagating this rare pea for the SEEDS projects and have provided 1900 seeds (13g) for the seed bank. The seeds used for the project were originally collected from Coromandel Valley (DJD115) and the propagated plants will be utilised in an SA Water restoration project at Chandlers Hill in 2017.
Seed cleaning:
Place the pods in a tray and cover with paper to prevent seeds popping out and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the dried pods to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any 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 four collections, the seed viability were high, at 100%.
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
BGA750 (8.74 g)50-10015-Feb-2005DJD 115
Southern Lofty
Southern Lofty
Flinders Ranges
BGA250 (1.65 g)5+3-Dec-2010KHB549
Southern Lofty
BGA2 (not kept)13-Nov-2010KHB548
Southern Lofty
BGA17 (0.11 g)8-Feb-2005DJD 113
Flinders Ranges
grown on
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:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Jun-1767%2135 seed coat nicked with scalpel;
potting mix;
Incubated under winter conditions
Apr-148%19 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)