Flowers, pods, and leaves. Australian Plant Image Index, photo: Murray Fagg, Australian National Botanic Gardens, ACT

Flowers and leaves. Photo: Don Wood, Morgan Conservation Park, SA

Pods. Photo: Don Wood, Morgan Conservation Park, SA

Flowering plant. Photo: Don Wood, Morgan Conservation Park, SA

Common Name

Poison Pea; Poison Swainson-pea, Small-leaved Swainson-pea




Shrub or perennial forb, prostrate or to 60cm tall.  Leaves alternating up the stems, composed of 17-41 leaflets, occasionally as few as 9 leaflets, each 0.1-1.5cm long, 1-4.5mm wide, flat, sparsely hairy, sometimes with a straight point in the notch at the end of the leaflet.  Flowers purple, blue, pink, or white.  Pea flower with five petals, two almost joined together.  Flowers in racemes of about 10-30 flowers, the stalks arising from the bases of the leaves. Rare Vic.

Description and photo (as Swainsona microphylla ssp. microphylla) in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales page 416. 

Current terminology for the subspecies of Swainsona microphylla in the Table on page 416 is as follows:  Ssp. minima and ssp. tomentosa have been subsumed into Swainsona microphylla.  Ssp. affinis  and ssp. glabrescens are now Swainsona affinis.

PlantNET description: