Galactia tenuiflora (FABACEAE) Snail Flower

Plants to Plant

Slender twining hairy or almost hairless perennial mostly along coast or in sclerophyll forest. There are quite a few of these small climbers on dry hillsides including the native glycines. They are members of the pea family. Leaves three-foliate. Terminal leaflet ovate-elliptic or oblong or narrow, 20-50 x 6-20 mm, hairless above, prominently veined below, lateral leaflets similar, smaller. Common names might include Florida Hammock Milkpea. Recorded in South Australia as host plant for Black-spot Grass-blue butterfly Famegana alsulus (R. Grund, South Australian Butterflies).

Photo: Robert Whyte


Flowers in summer and autumn. Racemes 2-3-flowered in a few distant clusters, each cluster rising from a gland-like node of the peduncle. Fruit elliptic in outline, 3-5 x c. 7 mm; seed more or less elliptic in outline, smooth. Classified as being in Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae, tribe Phaseoleae, subtribe Diocleinae, also placed in Papilionaceae.

Photo: Robert Whyte