Seeds of South Australia
Swainsona murrayana (Leguminosae)
Murray's Slender Darling-Pea
List of species for Swainsona
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Seed collecting:
September to December
Herbarium region:
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA region
Olary Spur (FLB03)Flinders Lofty Block
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(ii,iii))   (Definite Decline)
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(ii,iii))   (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. Murrayana named after the Murray River, where the type species was collected from.
Found only in Boolcoomatta Station, west of Broken Hill in South Australia, growing in depressions in chenopod plains on heavy soils. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales & Victoria.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Very rare in the other states.
Plant description:
Prostrate or erect perennial herb to 25 cm high covered in fine hairs. Leaves are narrow, lance-shaped and in groups of 3-11. Flowers on a long erect stalk, usually pink with a twisted keel. Flowering between July and October.
Fruit type:
Long narrow pods to 6cm long and covered in fine hairs.
Seed type:
Yellow orange (some with dark spots) reniform seeds to 2.5mm long with a wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect pods by hand when seeds are hard and turning orange, usually when pods start to turn straw brown on the plant or on the ground.
Seed cleaning:
Place the pods in a tray to dry for a week. Then rub the pods firmly with a rubber bung 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 four 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)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA6000 (44.78 g)7522-Oct-2008DJD1168
BGA6000 (38.07 g)4522-Oct-2008DJD1167
BGA1300 (9.21 g)922-Oct-2008DJD1166
7500 (47.61 g)
7500 (47.61 g)
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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
May-0998%6 d6 d 2% calcium hypochlorite solution 30 min, seed coat nicked with scalpel;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)