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Swainsona formosa (G.Don) Joy Thomps.

Telopea 4: 4 (1990)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Native to Western Australia
Name Status

Prostrate annual or perennial (short-lived), herb, 0.05-0.2 m high, to 3 m wide. Fl. red, Jun to Oct. Red sandy or loamy soils. Creeklines, undulating stony hills.

Grazyna Paczkowska, Descriptive Catalogue, 5 August 1996

Scientific Description

Prostrate,spreading or scrambling, herb. Stems terete or flattened, not spiny, hairy; pustules or glands absent. Leaves or phylloclades clearly present, compound, alternate, not continuous with stem, 45-185 mm long, hairy, with simple hairs, flat with flat margins; margins entire; tubercles absent, leaflets 13-19, pinnately arranged, terminal leaflet present, stalked; pustules or glands absent. Stipules present and persistent to older leaves, 10-20 mm long, without glands, ribless. Bracteoles present and persistent. Calyx 15-23 mm long, not accrescent, hairy, with simple hairs, ribless; pustules or glands absent. Corolla uniformly coloured or multicoloured, red, mostly red or black, with some red or black spots, streaks or blotches; claws present; standard 55-70 mm long, glabrous, not auriculate, wings 7-8.5 mm long, auriculate, keel 26-50 mm long, beaked or not beaked, auriculate, glabrous. Stamens ten. Fruit dehiscent (a pod or follicle), 60-70 mm long, 10-12 mm wide, stipitate, not constricted between the seeds, round in cross-section, hairy, with simple hairs. Flowers in June, July, August, September and October. Occurs in the Eremaean and South-West Botanical Province, in the Great Sandy Desert, Pilbara, Carnarvon, Gascoyne, Little Sandy Desert, Central Ranges, Murchison, Great Victorian Desert, Coolgardie, Nullarbor and Avon Wheatbelt IBRA regions.

C. Hollister and K.R. Thiele, 24 October 2023


IBRA Regions
Carnarvon, Central Ranges, Coolgardie, Gascoyne, Great Sandy Desert, Great Victoria Desert, Little Sandy Desert, Murchison, Nullarbor, Pilbara.
IBRA Subregions
Ashburton, Augustus, Cape Range, Carlisle, Carnegie, Chichester, Eastern Goldfield, Eastern Murchison, Fortescue, Hamersley, Mackay, Mann-Musgrave Block, Nullarbor Plain, Roebourne, Shield, Trainor, Western Murchison, Wooramel.
IMCRA Regions
Pilbara (nearshore).
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Ashburton, Carnarvon, Cue, Dundas, East Pilbara, Exmouth, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Karratha, Leonora, Meekatharra, Menzies, Murchison, Ngaanyatjarraku, Port Hedland, Upper Gascoyne, Wiluna.