Bossiaea sericea I.Thomps.

Muelleria 30: 119 (2012) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Erect shrubs to c. 2 m high; branches terete, suberect, with a dense cover of ± straight hairs. Leaves alternate, unifoliate, orbicular, obcordate, broadly obovate, or broadly quadrangular, (1.5–)2–4 mm long, 1.5–5 mm wide; base truncate to slightly cordate; apex broadly rounded, truncate or emarginate; upper surface glabrous, sometimes tuberculate on margins; lower surface flat or slightly concave, sericeous, indumentum usually persistent; margin flat to recurved; stipules triangular, 0.7–2 mm long, glabrous, exceeding petiole, semi-persistent. Flowers solitary, 5–7 mm long; pedicle 1–3.5 mm long, glabrous or pubescent; bracts crowded, broad-ovate, 0.7–2.2 mm long; bracteoles inserted near base of calyx, narrow-ovate or oblong, 0.7–2.5 mm long, glabrous or with hairs near apex, persistent; calyx 2–3.5 mm long, pubescent, or tube glabrous, lobes acute, c. equal to or slightly shorter than tube, upper lobes slightly broader than lower; corolla uniformly bright yellow (margins sometimes tinged pink), petals ± equal in length; ovary stipitate, 2- or 3-ovulate, densely pubescent. Pods broad-elliptic, 6–10 mm long, rusty-pubescent; stipe 1–2.5 mm long. Flowers Dec.–Jan.

EGU, HNF, MonT, SnM, VAlp. Also NSW, ACT. Occurs in alpine and subalpine areas above 800 m altitude in north-eastern and eastern Victoria, growing in heath and woodland, often bordering grassland.

A moderately variable species with 3 variants. Plants from Mount Buffalo tend to have smaller, angular leaves with tuberculate margins, and tend to be less hairy. Plants in far eastern Gippsland tend to have much larger stipules, while plants from the north-east tend to have emarginate leaf apices.

Forms part of a species complex with Bossiaea foliosa, B. alpina and B. distichoclada (see notes under those species), with B. sericea and B. distichoclada being the most common and widespread species in Victoria. Proposed hybrids between these two species have been recorded on the Bogong High Plains and Limestone Creek. Proposed hybrids have leaves that lack tubercules and are either flat but lacking long silky hairs below, and have short bracteoles, or have leaves that are convex with long silky hairs below and long bracteoles.     

Created by: Andre Messina, 2016-04-14
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-03-06
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 sericea in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Bossiaea sericea in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
East Gippsland Uplands 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