Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona kingii (Leguminosae)
King's Pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
September to November
Herbarium region:
North Western
NRM region:
Alinytjara Wilurara
IBRA region
Maralinga (GVD03)Great Victoria Desert
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [highly 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 Swainsona]
Name derivation:
Swainsona named after Isaac Swainson (1746-1812), an English scientist and horticulturalist who had a private botanic garden near London. Kingii named in honour of H. S King, Esq, who collected the type specimen from between Gascoyne and Fortescue River in Western Australia.
Distribution:
Very few records and only collected from the central western border of South Australia, in clay depression, in sand or loam associated with creek-beds or lake beds or their margins. Also found in Western Australia.
Status:
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Plant description:
A prostrate or ascending annual or perennial herb reaching 15cm high with numerous stems arising from a taproot. Leaves mostly 5cm long with 3-7 leaflets which are obovate to 12mm long and 9mm wide and covered with scattered hairs on the lower surface. Flower racemes to 5cm long with 1-9 pink to purple flowers appearing from May to October.
Fruit type:
Elliptic to obovate, brown pod to 30mm long and 6mm wide.
Seed type:
Dark brown mottle, semi-flat, reinform seed to 2.5mm long and 2mm wide.
Embryo type:
Bent.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods, those turning brown an 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 weeks. 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 germination:
This species has physical dormancy that need to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).

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Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Jul-1594%7 d7 d seed coat nicked with scalpel;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jul-1518%7 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn 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)