Glycine microphylla (Benth.) Tindale

Small-leaf Glycine

Brunonia 9: 181 (1987) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Scrambling herb; stems elongated, sometimes stoloniferous, twining, hirsute to glabrous. Leaves dimorphic, adult weakly pinnately trifoliolate, first-formed leaves usually palmately trifoliolate, petiole 0.7–5 cm long; leaflets of upper leaves narrow-lanceolate to lanceolate, 1.5–5 cm long, 1–6 mm wide, apices mostly acute; leaflets of lower leaves obovate to elliptic, 0.5–5 cm long, 2–9 mm wide, apices acute or obtuse; upper surface sparsely strigose to glabrous; lower surface more densely strigose; stipules lanceolate to ovate; at least the central leaflet subtended by a pair of minute stipels (but these deciduous), central petiolule usually conspicuously less hairy below than above stipels; leaflet reticulation obvious with secondary and tertiary veins usually apparent (moreso on the undersurface) - the finer tertiary veins forming a distinct network within the areoles formed by the secondary veins. Racemes 5–13-flowered; peduncles mostly 2–4 cm long. Flowers on pedicels 1–2.3 mm long, more crowded towards apex of rachis; bract linear, 1–2 mm long; calyx 3–5.3 mm long, sparsely hairy to glabrous, lower 3 teeth shorter than the tube; petals white, pink or purplish; standard 5–7 mm long; keel shorter than wings. Pod more or less linear, 1.5–3 cm long, 2.5–4 mm wide, compressed, sparsely strigose; seeds 3–7, ovoid to suborbicular, 1.5–2.2 mm long, smooth and shining or minutely muricate, black, brown or grey. Flowers mostly Oct.–Apr.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, NIS, OtP, OtR, VVP. Also SA, Qld, NSW, Tas., Norfolk Is. Scattered across cooler parts of southern Victoria where it grows in moist grassy areas in scrublands, open-forests and woodlands.

This species is poorly known and has been confused with Glycine clandestina: it can be distinguished by its often stoloniferous stems, fine, reticulate veining on the leaflets, longer, stipellate central petiolule and shorter pods. The calyx is generally distinctly less hairy than that of G. clandestina.

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: Neville Walsh, 2018-12-07
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Fabales
family Fabaceae
genus Glycine
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Glycine microphylla in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Glycine microphylla in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory