Ilparpa Claypans FloraAnnual Yellowtop (Senecio gregorii) Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum) Buffel Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) Button grass (Dactyloctenium radulans) Centipeda crateriformis Cyperus sp Goatshead Burr (Sclerolaena bicornis) Golden Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum) Invisible Plant (Siemssenia capillaris) Longtails (Ptilotus polystachyus) Nardoo (Marsilea drummondii) Pink Everlasting (Schoenia cassiniana) Polycarpaea corymbosa var brevifolia Red Pussytail (Ptilotus polystachyus) Schenkia australis Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla) Tiny Purslane (Calandrinia pumila) Tiny Purslane (White form) Variable Daisy (Brachyscome ciliaris) Wahlenbergia capillaris Yellow Billybutton (Calocephalus platycephalus)

Known as the Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla), is a prostrate perennial, that grow up to 60 cm in height. The stems are sparsely to densely pubescent (short downy/soft hair) with appressed to spreading basifixed hairs.

Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla), Ilparpa Claypans NT
Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla), Ilparpa Claypans NT

The leaves are between 5-15 cm long; and made up of leaflets (usually 21-41) about 0.1 to 1.5 cm long and 1 to 4.5 mm wide. the leaflets are sparsely hairy, with a notch at the end of the leaflets (also have been documented as straight point at the end of the leaflet).

Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla), Ilparpa Claypans NT
Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla), Ilparpa Claypans NT

The pea-shaped flowers vary from purple, blue, pink or white, with five petals, two almost joined together. The flowers are in racemes of about 10-30 flowers, with the stalks arising from the bases of the leaves.

The flower seed pods are globose (globe shape to spherical) to broad-oblong.

Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla), Ilparpa Claypans NT
Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla), Ilparpa Claypans NT


  • Scientific Classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Charophyta
  • Class: Equisetopsida
  • Subclass: Magnoliidae
  • Superorder: Rosanae
  • Order: Fabales
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Genus: Swainsona
  • Species: Swainsona microphylla
Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla), Ilparpa Claypans NT
Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla), Ilparpa Claypans NT

Footnote & References

  1. Swainsona microphylla, Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club, https://www.facebook.com/groups/alicefieldnats
  2. Swainsona microphylla, eFloraSA, http://www.flora.sa.gov.au/cgi-bin/speciesfacts_display.cgi?genus=Swainsona&species=microphylla
  3. Swainsona microphylla, Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://id.biodiversity.org.au/node/apni/2898507

Ilparpa Claypans FloraAnnual Yellowtop (Senecio gregorii) Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum) Buffel Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) Button grass (Dactyloctenium radulans) Centipeda crateriformis Cyperus sp Goatshead Burr (Sclerolaena bicornis) Golden Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum) Invisible Plant (Siemssenia capillaris) Longtails (Ptilotus polystachyus) Nardoo (Marsilea drummondii) Pink Everlasting (Schoenia cassiniana) Polycarpaea corymbosa var brevifolia Red Pussytail (Ptilotus polystachyus) Schenkia australis Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla) Tiny Purslane (Calandrinia pumila) Tiny Purslane (White form) Variable Daisy (Brachyscome ciliaris) Wahlenbergia capillaris Yellow Billybutton (Calocephalus platycephalus)

Ilparpa ClaypansIlparpa Claypans Fauna Ilparpa Claypans Flora Ilparpa Claypans Landscape

Northern TerritoryCentral Australia Aileron Alice Springs Binns Track Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve Ernest Giles Road Finke Gorge National Park Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve Hermannsburg Historic Precinct Ilparpa Claypans Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve MacDonnell Ranges Owen Springs Reserve Red Centre Way Drive Standley Chasm Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Watarrka National Park & Kings Canyon Wurre / Rainbow Valley