Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Leguminosae
Lathyrus sphaericus

Citation: Retz., Obs. Bot. 3:39 (1783).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Slender wild-pea.

Slender glabrous annual; stems erect or ascending, 15-50 cm long, not winged; leaf rhachis winged, 3-10 mm long; tendril simple, long or short, rarely absent; leaflets 1 pair, linear to linear-lanceolate, 20-50 x 1-7 mm (in S. Aust.); stipules linear, semisagittate, 6-15 x 0.5-1 mm, longer than the peduncle.

flowers solitary, 8-10 mm long, with a pedicel 0.5-3 mm long, on axillary aristate peduncles 5-10 mm long, articulated near the middle or apex; bract lanceolate, to 3 mm long; calyx 5-6 mm long, glabrous, teeth equal, lanceolate-subulate, about equalling the tube; petals a dark brick-red, drying purple; standard obovate-obcordate, c. 7 mm wide, shortly clawed, distinctly veined; wings shorter, auricle small, claw long; keel shortest, oblong, acuminate, on a long claw, whitish with a red beak; style not twisted.

Pod sessile, linear-ensiform, 30-50 X c. 4 mm, subcompressed, strongly and longitudinally reticulately nerved, glabrous, 5-14-seeded; seed globose, c. 2.5 mm, rarely a bit compressed, generally smooth, olive-green to mottled dark or black; hilum one-eleventh to one-thirteenth of the circumference of the seed.

image of FSA2_Lathyrus_sph.jpg
Image source: fig. 346A in J.P. Jessop and H.R. Toelken Ed. 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Distribution:  a Mediterranean species in drier forests (pine) and meadows or roadsides.

S.Aust.: SL.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Oct. — Nov.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: Often confused with L. angulatus L., in which the peduncles are 20-70 mm long and exceed the length of the bract and the seeds are rugose to finely tuberculate.

Author: Not yet available

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