Swainsona microphylla A.Gray

Small-leaf Swainson-pea

U.S. Expl. Exped., Phan. 1: 410 (1854) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: rare (r)

Prostrate, decumbent or ascending perennial herb, to c. 60 cm tall; stems sparsely or densely pubescent with appressed or spreading basifixed hairs, sometimes virtually glabrous. Leaves mostly 5–15 cm long; leaflets mostly 21–41, broad-cuneate to orbicular, 1–5 mm long, 1–5 mm wide, apices usually retuse, often mucronate, both surfaces glabrous to pubescent, often deciduous; stipules 1–4 mm long, broad at base, apex lanceolate and acuminate. Racemes mostly 10–25-flowered; flowers 5–10 mm long; calyx glabrous to pubescent, teeth usually much shorter than tube; petals white, pink or purple; standard 6–8 mm long, 6–9 mm wide, broad-ovate, tapered at base or clawed; keel 4.5–7 mm long, narrow-obtuse, apex rounded or beaked; style tip truncate with an arc of stiff hairs behind. Pod globular to broad-obloid, mostly 5–10 mm long, 3–8 mm wide, inflated, glabrous, stipe to c. 1 mm long; seeds to c. 8, cordate, c. 1.5 mm long, olive-green to brown. Flowers Jun.–Oct.

EGU, LoM, MuM, MSB, RobP, SnM, VRiv. Also WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW. In Victoria mainly confined to the far north-west but also near Echuca and on the upper Snowy River near Willis. Grows mostly in light soils on sand-hills and sandplains.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1996). Fabaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-02-13
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Fabales
family Fabaceae
genus Swainsona
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Swainsona microphylla in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Swainsona microphylla in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales