Bossiaea foliosa A.Cunn.

Leafy Bossiaea

in Field, Geogr. Mem. New South Wales 347 (1825) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: rare (r)

Erect shrub to c. 1.5 m high; branches terete, suberect to spreading, with a moderately dense cover of straight or wavy hairs. Leaves alternate, unifoliate, broadly ovate, orbicular, or transversely oblong, 1.5–3 mm long, 1.5–3.5 mm wide; base truncate to cordate; apex broadly rounded or truncate; upper surface minutely tuberculate; lower surface distinctly concave, minutely white-dotted, with scattered hairs; margin recurved, sometimes revolute in distal half; stipules triangular to narrow-triangular, 0.4–1(–1.5) mm long, glabrescent, exceeding petiole, semi-persistent.  Flowers solitary, 5–7 mm long; pedicle 0.5–2.5 mm long, glabrous or with scattered hairs; bracts crowded, broad-ovate to almost circular, c. 0.5 mm long; bracteoles inserted at base of calyx, broad-ovate, 0.5–1 mm long, glabrous or sparsely hairy, persistent; calyx 2–3.5 mm long, pubescent, lobes acute, c. equal to tube, upper lobes broader than lower; corolla uniformly bright yellow, petals ± equal in length; ovary stipitate, 2-ovulate, densely pubescent. Pods c. orbicular, 5–8 mm long, rusty-pubescent; stipe c. 1.5 mm long. Flowers Oct.–Dec.

EGL, HNF, MonT, NIS, SnM, VAlp. Also NSW, ACT. Common component of alpine and subalpine communities in north-east and east Victoria. Restricted in Victoria to ranges near the border with New South Wales (e.g. Cobberas, Dartmouth area, Bendoc, Coopracambra National Park) at altitudes of 800–1200 m, commonly on stony soils in open forest and woodland.

Previously this name was widely applied to small-leaved plants with shortly stalked, entirely yellow flowers growing in alpine and subalpine areas. This is now regarded as a species complex that includes B. alpina, B. sericea, and B. distichoclada. These four species are distinguished by a combination of characters including leaf shape, indumentum and colour, bracteole and stipule length, and calyx indumentum. Bossiaea foliosa is characterised by its convex leaves that appear somewhat ovate in shape due to the strongly recurved margins near the apex, are tuberculate on the upper surface and white-dotted below. It has relatively short stipules and bracteoles, calyces are hairy whereas the pedicles are glabrous. Bossiaea foliosa is widespread throughout alpine and subalpine regions of New South Wales, but apparently does not extend beyond Mitta Mitta or the Cobberas in north eastern Victoria.

Source: Ross, J.H. (1996). Bossiaea. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2021-01-07
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 foliosa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Bossiaea foliosa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory