Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona viridis (Leguminosae)
Creeping Darling-pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
March, October to December
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Olary Spur (FLB03)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2b(ii)c(ii) )   (Probable Decline)
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [needs good rains, forms mats, likes flood plains, very localised; grazing a threat]
Braemer (MDD07)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2b(ii)c(ii) )   (Probable Decline)
Curnamona (BHC06)Broken Hill Complex
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2b(ii)c(ii) )   (Probable Decline)
Murnpeowie (STP03)Stony Plains
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [needs good rains, forms mats, likes flood plains, very localised; grazing a threat]
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. Viridis from the Latin 'viridis' meaning green; referring to the green appearance of the plant.
Found in dry sandy or stony areas, on the banks or in the creek beds with the main distribution on the eastern side of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. Also found in New South Wales.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Very rare in New South Wales.
Plant description:
A prostrate perennial herb to 10cm high with numerous stems arising from a taproot. Leaves 1-6cm long 5-13 obovate leaflets. Flowers small, purple at the end of a long stalk.
Fruit type:
Long narrow black pod to 35mm long with a stiff texture.
Seed type:
Dark brown, semi-flat reniform seeds to 2mm 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 two collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 80% to 85%.
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
3900 (7.8 g)
3900 (7.8 g)
BGA7950 (21.49 g)25+23-Nov-2010KHB490
Flinders Ranges
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.