Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona lessertiifolia (Leguminosae)
Coast Swainson-pea; Poison Pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
October to November
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
SUMMARY
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Near Threatened
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [limited habitat; locally abundant - Newland Head]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [limited habitat; difficult to find]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Regionally Extinct
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Regionally Extinct
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Least Concern   [undercollected ]
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Data Deficient
Kingoonya (GAW05)Gawler
 Data Deficient   [questionable location]
IBRA regions
DISPLAY ALL
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))
4 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
, Rare
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooLeast Concern
, Rare
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty BlockVulnerable
  (IUCN: VU D2)   [limited habitat; difficult to find]
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockRare
, Regionally Extinct
2 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Endangered
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaData Deficient
Kingoonya (GAW05)GawlerData Deficient
  [questionable location]
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. Lessertiifolia named for Jules Paul Benjamin de Lessert, 19th century French banker and amateur botanist, who owned a private herbarium used by de Candolle who described the species.
Distribution:
Found along the coast and occasionally extending inland on Eyre Peninsula, Mount Lofty ranges, Kangaroo Island and the Southeast regions of South Australia on calcareous dunes or sea-cliffs associated with limestone. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Status:
Native. Common in SA. Common in other states.
Plant description:
A decumbent shrubby perennial herb to 60cm high with numerous stems arising from a taproot. Leaves mostly 5-15cm with 15-41 narrow-elliptic to elliptic leaflets. Flowers purple rarely white, often with 2 yellowish-green blotches centrally. Flowering June - October.
Fruit type:
Pod sessile or subsessile, oblong or ovoid-oblong, 5-15mm long, inflated, with firm walls.
Seed type:
Dark brown mottle semi-flat reinform seed to 2mm long with a wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Bent.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods usually black. Mature pods can be found lying on the ground next to the plant containing hard seeds.
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 four 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)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
4500 (13.65 g)
4500 (13.65 g)
313-Nov-2005KHB008
Southern Lofty
7-Aug-200690%-18°C
BGA 
MSB
5400 (15.18 g)
5400 (15.18 g)
4016-Nov-2005MKJ144
Murray
7-Aug-200695%-18°C
BGA1200 (2.62 g)511-Nov-2010TST1093
Murray
1-Jan-2012100%-18°C
BGA38100 (106.7 g)2011-Nov-2010DJD2009
Murray
1-Jan-201285%-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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Apr-11100%5 d5 d seed coat nicked with scalpel;
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)