Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona procumbens (Leguminosae)
Broughton Pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
December to January
Herbarium regions:
Northern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Northern and Yorke, South East
IBRA regions
Lucindale (NCP03)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Regionally Extinct   [possibly extinct]
Broughton (FLB02)Flinders Lofty Block
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR C2a(i))   (Definite Decline)   [major decline all regions]
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR C2a(i))   (Definite Decline)   [major decline all regions]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR C2a(i))   (Definite Decline)   [major decline all regions]
St Vincent (EYB02)Eyre Yorke Block
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR C2a(i))   (Definite Decline)   [major decline all regions]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [affected by drought; needs flooding]
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [pops fluctuate, subject to roadside clearance & drying, in Bulloke woodland]
Barrier Range (BHC01)Broken Hill Complex
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Bimbowrie (BHC05) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR C2a(i))   (Definite Decline)
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. Procumbens meaning lying along the ground; referring to the tendency of the foliage to spread across the ground.
Found in heavy soil prone to waterlogging in the south-east region of South Australia. It was first collected in the mid-north but now assumed extinct from the region. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. 
Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in other states.
Plant description:
A spreading or ascending perennial plant with numerous stems arising from a taproot. Leaves 5-15cm long with 15-25 smooth, linear to obovoid leaflets. Flowers large, purple often with a yellow keel-tip.
Fruit type:
Dark brown, narrow elliptic to oblong pods 20-40mm long with a stiff woody texture.
Seed type:
Orange to brown, mottled, semi-flat reniform seeds to 2mm long with a smooth surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods, dark brown containing hard seeds. Mature pods can be found lying on the ground next to the plant containing hard seeds.
Seed cleaning:
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 three collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 85% to 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
730 (4.3 g)
827 (4.8 g)
30-402-Dec-2004DJD 61
South Eastern
BGA8800 (59.8 g)5020-Jan-2010TST892
South Eastern
BGA550 (3.5 g)20+21-Dec-2010DJD2084
South Eastern
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.