Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona leeana (Leguminosae)
Lee's Swainson-pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
September to November
Herbarium regions:
Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA region
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [outliers; WA spp.]
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. Leeana named in honour of Mrs Alma Lee for her contribution to knowledge of this genus. 
Found in the northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia in dry stony soil or clay-loam in tussock grassland, saltbush and mulga woodland. Also found in Western Australia.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Plant description:
A small prostrate annual or perennial to 10cm high with numerous hairy stems arising from a taproot. Leaves 1-3cm long with 5-7 hairy, obovate or elliptic leaflets. Flowers purple or yellow.
Fruit type:
Small hairy papery pod 8-10mm long.
Seed type:
Brown, semi-flat reniform seeds to 1.5mm long with a wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods those turning reddish brown 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. 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 three collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 85% to 100%.
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
BGA4800 (7.18 g)100+17-Jun-2010KHB433
Flinders Ranges
3500 (6.22 g)
3500 (6.22 g)
Flinders Ranges
BGA1100 (1.97 g)1011-Oct-2010DJD1973
Flinders Ranges
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.