Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona minutiflora (Leguminosae)
Small-flower Swainson-pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
September to October
Herbarium region:
Lake Eyre
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Torrens (GAW06)Gawler
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [in calcareous drainage lines]
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria Desert
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [in calcareous drainage lines]
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [in calcareous drainage lines]
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [in calcareous drainage lines]
Baltana (STP07) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [in calcareous drainage lines]
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. Minutiflora from the Latin 'minutus' meaning very small and 'florus' meaning flower; referring to the species minute flowers.
Endemic and restricted to gypseous stony plan in central South Australia.
Native. Rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
Small annual herbaceous plant with several stems radiating from a central tap root covered in dense hairs. Leaves 3-5cm long with 5-9 leaflets, glabrous above and hairy below. Flowers small, light pink 4-5 mm long.
Fruit type:
Long dark brown to black leathery pods to 20mm long and 3 mm wide covered in short hairs.
Seed type:
Olive-green to brown reinform seed to 2mm with a wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods, dark brown or black with hard seeds. Mature pods can be found lying on the ground next to the plant containing hard seeds.
Seed cleaning:
Place the seed in a tray and leave to dry. 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 one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.
Seed germination:
This species has physical dormancy that needs 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
4600 (8.65 g)
4600 (8.65 g)
Lake Eyre
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.