Commemorating Isaac Swainson (d. 1806), a private gardener in Twickenham, London, c. 1789.
Erect to prostrate herbs or subshrubs. Leaves usually odd-pinnate. Leaflets few to many, rarely reduced or absent; margins entire; stipules present and often with a prominent ridge. Flowers axillary. Flowers with the corolla mostly purple, occasionally white, pink, yellow, orange or red. Standard mostly longer than the wings. Stamens in 2 groups of alternating length. Ovary usually stalked. Fruit pod dehiscent, sometimes inflated and with 1-2 chambers.
Grown for the attractive foliage and flowers.
About 85 species (84 Australia, 1 New Zealand).
Seed, S. formosa by seed or grafts onto stock of the New Zealand Clianthus puniceus.
Leaves odd-pinnate in cultivated plants; stamens fused and in 2 groups; keel beaked.
Source: (2002). Fabaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.