Armidale District

Swainsonia galegifolia Flowers, fruit
and Compound (Imparapinnate) leaves.

Left Panel information & images - N.Wilson

APS Armidale Fact Sheet - Swainsonia galegifolia

Text and images by
Neil Wilson

Swainsonia galegifolia is a sprawling perennial that grows to 1m.
Flowers are held in axillary racemes on long stalks (peduncles) with 15 to 20 flowers per peduncle.
The plants are usually found in woodland environments. Its range is the coast, tablelands, slopes and plains of NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
Plants can sometimes be bought from the
Armidale Tree Group nursery.

Sw_galegifolia plant

Swainsonia galegifolia has grown to about 1m high in our garden - in full sun.

flower heads

Leaves are compound, imparapinnate, green and the pinnae are narrow-obovate to elliptic with an obtuse to emarginate tip.

Flowers are held in racemes and have bright white,yellow, orange, pink, purple or dark red petals.
A raceme is a simple arrangement where each flower has a stalk and the end bud is the youngest flower.


Legumes are green or red, ageing to dry and brittle brown. The brown/black seeds need hot water treatment for germination to occur. This treatment is common for all legume plants.
Also, all legumes will fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil, thus improving the soil as they grow.

This wonderful plant is a gem for small gardens. It spreads quickly to a width of about 80cm.
Ours were quick to settle-in and have continued flowering since planting. The frost did not affect them at all.

The best flowering occurs in spring through to autumn. They are a delight to have in our garden, with several coloured plants being planted together.

Swainsonia galegifolia is a great plant for quick results in most situations where it flourishes easily.
After a short settling-in period,they have coped with the coldest days but need some water in the hottest times in our garden.