Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona campestris (Leguminosae)
Nullarbor Plain Swainson-pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
September to November
Herbarium region:
Nullarbor
NRM region:
Alinytjara Wilurara
IBRA regions
Yellabinna (GVD06)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [all recent records missing]
Nullarbor Plain (NUL02)Nullarbor
 Least Concern   [all recent records missing]
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. Campestris from the Latin 'campus' meaning plain, alluding to the species habitat on the Nullarbor Plain.
Distribution:
Found in the far south-western part of South Australia, growing on open, sandy to clayey loamy soils in red limestone plains, treeless or in sparse woodland. Also found in Western Australia.
Status:
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia.
Plant description:
An erect or ascending perennial herb to 60 cm high, with many stems arising from a taproot and hairy stems. Leaves to 10 cm long with 9-11 leaflets, very narrowly lanceolate-elliptic, hairs on both surfaces. Inflorescence an erect spike to 25 cm long with 5-10 pink or purple pea-flowers. Flowering between July and October.
Fruit type:
Oblong stiff pod to 20 mm long and 5 mm wide, curved, covered in hairs.
Embryo type:
Bent.
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 germination:
This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).