Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona reticulata (Leguminosae)
Kneed Swainson-pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
September to November
Herbarium region:
NRM region:
South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Regionally Extinct   [presumed extinct]
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable 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. Reticulata from the Latin 'reticulum' meaning a small net, referring to the veins on the standard petals.
Restricted to the Murray River floodplains in the Riverland region of South Australia. It is also found along the Murray River in Victoria and on the alluvial flats in grasslands and woodlands of north-eastern New South Wales.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in New South Wales.
Plant description:
A prostrate, pubescent perennial herb with stems radiating from a central tap root. Leaves to 7 cm long with 5-17 leaflets, obovate, elliptic or narrowly linear-lanceolate, to 15 mm long and 3 mm wide, both surfaces with appressed hairs, or upper surface glabrous. Inflorescence an erect scapes to 10 cm tall with 4-6 terminal purple pea-flowers. Flowering between August and October.
Fruit type:
Dark brown, stiff oblong pods to 22 mm long, covered in hairs.
Seed type:
Orange to brown, semi-flat reniform seeds to 1.5 mm long with a wrinkled 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 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 germination:
This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).