Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona fuscoviridis (Leguminosae)
Dark Green Swainson-pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
October to November
Herbarium region:
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Olary Spur (FLB03)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1)
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)
St Vincent (EYB02)Eyre Yorke Block
 Regionally Extinct
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   (Probable Decline)   [Dan Duval could have more records]
Bimbowrie (BHC05)Broken Hill Complex
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1)
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. Fuscoviridis from the Latin 'fuscus' meaning dark and 'viridis' meanining green; referring to the dark colour of vegetative parts in dried material.
Endemic to South Australia and confined to an area west of Broken Hill.
Native. Very rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
An erect or prostrated perennial herb to 25cm high with numerous hair stems arising from a taproot. Leaves to 6cm long with 7-9 hairy, elliptic to linear or obovate leaflets. Flowers purple on densely often dark stalk.
Fruit type:
Hairy, leather dark pod to 14mm long.
Seed type:
Orang/brown mottled, semi-flat reniform seeds to 2mm long with a wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods, those turning black and contain hard seeds. 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. When dried the pods can 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, ranging from 90% to 95%.
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
9800 (22.35 g)
4900 (11.17 g)
BGA8000 (18.58 g)21-Oct-2008DJD1164
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.