Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona acuticarinata (Leguminosae)
Limestone Swainson-pea
List of species for Swainsona
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
October to December
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Nullarbor, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula
IBRA regions
Eyre Mallee (EYB05)Eyre Yorke Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv))   (Probable Decline)
Maralinga (GVD03)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Kintore (GVD04) 
 Least Concern   [likes heavy soils]
Yellabinna (GVD06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Near Threatened   [likes heavy soils]
Tieyon (FIN03)Finke
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [limited habitat; heavy soils]
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 Swainsona]
Name derivation:
Swainsona named after Isaac Swainson (1746-1812, an English scientist and horticulturalist who had a private botanic garden near London. Acuticarinata meaning acute keeled; referring to the apex of the keel.
Found in red sandy soil with triodia and scattered mallee or mulga associated with limestone in the northwest and west regions of South Australia. Also found in Western Australia and Northern Territory.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in other states.
Plant description:
Prostrate perennial herb to 45cm high with a number of stems from a stout taproot. Leaves with 5-11 leaflets to 5mm long with dense hairs on the lower surface and almost hairless on the upper surface. Flowers purple.
Fruit type:
Black or dark brown stiff pod to 15mm long covered with hairs.
Seed type:
Light brown or orange, semi-flat reniform seeds to 3mm long with a slightly wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods, those turning brown and contain hard seeds. Mature pods can be found lying on the ground next to the plant.
Seed cleaning:
When dried the pods become hard and difficult to open. 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 two 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
BGA1700 (3.64 g)105-Nov-2009DJD1553
Eyre Peninsula
BGA2800 (5.34 g)302-Nov-2009TST780
Eyre Peninsula
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.