Bossiaea cordifolia Sweet

Fl. Australas. (Sweet) 20 (1827) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: rare (r)

Erect shrub to c. 3 m high; stems terete, usually with dense appressed or spreading hairs. Leaves alternate, opposite or whorled, unifoliolate, ± sessile; petiole lacking spur; lamina trullate or triangular, 5–23 mm long, 2–7 mm wide, rounded, cordate or truncate basally; apex pungent; upper surface dark green, glabrous, smooth or minutely tuberculate; lower surface usually glabrous except for scattered hairs on veins; stipules setaceous, to 3 mm long, recurved or deflexed, in closely adjacent pairs, persistent. Flower usually solitary, c. 10 mm long; pedicles to 15 mm long, usually glabrous; bracts c. 0.5 mm long, crowded; bracteoles c. 0.5 mm long, usually inserted above middle of pedicle, persistent; calyx 3–4 mm long, tube longer than lobes, upper lobes much broader than lower, glabrous; standard mainly red externally and golden-yellow internally; wings yellow; ovary stipitate, glabrous, 3–4-ovulate. Pod ovate to oblong, 1.5–2 cm long; stipe usually exceeding the calyx. Flowers Oct.–Dec.

OtP, OtR, WaP. Restricted to the Otway Ranges, growing in open Messmate or stringy bark forest, or heathland.

Closely resembles B. cinerea, but distinguished by the distinctly deflexed stipules that are inserted somewhat adjacent to one another rather sitting on opposite sides of the petiole. Also, the leaves tend to have a lower length to width ratio (less than 2, cf. 3–8 in B. cinerea) and are more prominently pungent-tipped, the petiole lacks a spur, and the wing petals are yellow.    

Created by: Andre Messina, 2016-04-15
Updated by: Andre Messina, 2016-04-15
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Fabales
family Fabaceae
genus Bossiaea
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Bossiaea cordifolia in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Bossiaea cordifolia in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Otway Ranges present native