Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona laxa (Leguminosae)
Yellow Skeleton Swainson-Pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
October to November
Herbarium region:
Lake Eyre
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Kintore (GVD04)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [disjunct population]
Simpson Desert (SSD02)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Least Concern
Dieri (SSD03) 
 Least Concern
Warriner (SSD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [limited habitat]
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Least Concern
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened
Macumba (STP05) 
 Near Threatened
Baltana (STP07) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern
Diamantina-Eyre (CHC04) 
 Least Concern
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern
Pedirka (FIN04)Finke
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
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. Laxa from the Latin 'laxus' meaning loose or open.
Distribution:
Found scattered in the north-eastern corner of South Australia in sandy soil especially on the upper slopes of sand-ridges. Also found in Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in New South Wales. Common in other states.
Plant description:
Shrub-like herb to 2 m high. Leaves to 17 cm long with 11-19 leaflets; leaflets obovate or narrow-obovate to 27 mm long and 15 mm wide. Flowers racemes to 30 cm long with 15-20 yellow pea-flowers.
Fruit type:
Pale brown, thin papery pod to 25 mm long and 15 mm wide.
Seed type:
Yellow brown reinform seed to 5 mm long and 3 mm wide with a smooth surface.
Embryo type:
Bent.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods, those that are drying off 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 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 one collection, the seed viability was high, at 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)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
3100 (32.28 g)
3100 (32.28 g)
20+22-Oct-2007DJD912
Lake Eyre
19-Sep-200895%-18°C
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.