Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona tephrotricha (Leguminosae)
Ashy-haired Swainson-pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
October to December
Herbarium regions:
Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Northern Lofty, Murray
NRM regions:
Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Broughton (FLB02)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU C2a(i))   (Probable Decline)
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU C2a(i))   (Probable Decline)
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN C2a(i))   (Probable Decline)
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Near Threatened
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [habitat degraded]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR D)   (Probable Decline)   [on roadsides; could be extinct]
Murnpeowie (STP03)Stony Plains
 Data Deficient   [odd records]
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. Tephrotriche from Greek 'tephros' meaning ash-coloured (grey) and 'trichos' meaning hairs; referring to the species grey appearance.  
Endemic to South Australia and found on arid hillsides in the Flinders Ranges area.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia.
Plant description:
An erect or ascending perennial shrub to 1 m high with several dense hairy stems arising from a taproot. Leaves to 10 cm long with 7-19 dense hairy leaflets. Flowers numerous, pink or pinkish-purple on a long stalk. Flowering between July and October.
Fruit type:
Black ovoid pod to 15 mm long, covered in dense hairs and with a stiff texture.
Seed type:
Brown, semi-flat reniform seed to 2 mm long with a wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature pods, black with hard seeds inside. 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 viability:
From three collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 95% 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
1800 (8.8 g)
1800 (8.8 g)
Flinders Ranges
BGA2300 (10.13 g)17-Dec-2008KHB121
Flinders Ranges
BGA4400 (11.63 g)23-Nov-2010KHB507
Northern Lofty
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.