Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona adenophylla (Leguminosae)
Violet Swainson-pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
September to November
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of salt lakes]
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Least Concern
Arcoona Plateau (GAW04) 
 Least Concern
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Torrens (GAW06) 
 Near Threatened   [edge of salt lakes]
Roxby (GAW07) 
 Near Threatened   [edge of salt lakes]
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of salt lakes]
Dieri (SSD03)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Near Threatened   [edge of salt lakes]
Warriner (SSD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of salt lakes]
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of salt lakes]
Murnpeowie (STP03)Stony Plains
 Least Concern   [edge of salt lakes]
Peake-Dennison Inlier (STP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of salt lakes]
Baltana (STP07) 
 Least Concern   [edge of salt lakes]
Pedirka (FIN04)Finke
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of salt lakes]
IBRA regions
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty BlockRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of salt lakes]
6 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
, Rare
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria DesertRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of salt lakes]
3 of 4 subregionsSimpson Strzelecki DunefieldsNear Threatened
, Rare
3 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsLeast Concern
, Rare
Pedirka (FIN04)FinkeRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of salt lakes]
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. Adenophylla  from the Greek 'aden' meaning gland and 'phyllon' meaning leaf; referring to its glandular leaves.
Found usually on red, sandy soil and occasionally stony flats in the arid region of South Australia. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in the other States.
Plant description:
An erect or spreading perennial to 30cm high with numerous hairy stems from a taproot. Leaves mostly 3-8 cm long with 3-9 hairy, narrow-linear leaflets. Flowers purple occasionally pink. 
Fruit type:
Paper pods to 20mm long.
Seed type:
Dark brown to orange and sometime mottled, semi-flat reniform seeds to 5 mm long with a wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods, those with hard seeds inside. Mature pods can be found lying on the ground next to the plant.
Seed cleaning:
Place the pods in a tray and leave to dry for a week. 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, ranging from 85% to 90%.
Seed germination:
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:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
5850 (18.92 g)
3000 (9.6 g)
Lake Eyre
BGA7400 (19.58 g)30+1-Nov-2010MJT277
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.