Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona purpurea (Leguminosae)
Purple Swainson-pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
September to November
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Kingoonya (GAW05)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Torrens (GAW06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Roxby (GAW07) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Commonwealth Hill (GAW08) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Least Concern
Witjira (STP06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Baltana (STP07) 
 Least Concern
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. Purpurea from the Latin 'purpura' meaning purple dye; referring to the colour of the flowers.
Distribution:
Found in low-lying areas or on dunes, associated with lake margins and often with salt and/or gypsum across the northern parts of South Australia. Also found in all other mainly states.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in other states.
Plant description:
An erect or spreading plant with few to many hairy stems arising from a taproot. Leaves 3-12cm long with 3-11 hairy, linear or elliptic leaflets. Flowers purple.
Fruit type:
Dark brown to black, long linear, leathery pods, 10-60mm long covered in fine hairs.
Seed type:
Light brown, semi-flat reniform seeds to 2mm long with a smooth surface.
Embryo type:
Bent.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods, dark brown or black 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 90% 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)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA8060 (26.62 g)50+5-Oct-2010MJT282
Lake Eyre
1-Jan-2012100%-18°C
BGA3000 (15.67 g)20+3-Nov-2010TST1090
Lake Eyre
1-Jan-201290%-18°C
 
MSB

4900 (23.94 g)
20+5-Oct-2010DJD1935
Lake Eyre
1-Jan-201290%
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.