Kennedia Vent.

Jard.Malmaison 2:Pl.104 (1804)
Name Status

Scientific Description

Family Papilionaceae. Phaseoleae.

Sometimes included in Leguminosae.

Habit and leaf form. Shrubs, or lianas, or herbaceous climbers; evergreen; without essential oils; not resinous. Leaves well developed. Plants unarmed. The herbs perennial. Leaves cauline. Plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves. Climbing (or trailing); stem twiners, or scrambling. Twining anticlockwise. Leptocaul. Mesophytic, or xerophytic. Not heterophyllous. Leaves small to large; not fasciculate; alternate; spiral; not decurrent on the stems; ‘herbaceous’ to leathery; not imbricate; petiolate. Petioles wingless. Leaves non-sheathing; not gland-dotted; compound; pulvinate; ternate. Leaves pinnately trifoliolate. Leaves imparipinnate. Leaflets 3; 0.5–8 cm long. Lateral leaflets opposite. Leaflets stipellate; pulvinate; elliptic, or oblong, or ovate, or obovate, or orbicular; attenuate to the base, or cuneate at the base, or rounded at the base; flat; without lateral lobes. Leaflet margins flat. Leaf blades dorsiventral; pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves with stipules. Stipules intrapetiolar; free of the petiole; free of one another, or concrescent; scaly, or leafy; caducous, or persistent. Leaf blade margins entire (or undulate); not prickly; flat. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Complex hairs absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous, or ornithophilous.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; not crowded at the stem bases; when solitary, axillary. Inflorescence few-flowered to many-flowered. Flowers in racemes, or in umbels, or in panicles. Inflorescences simple, or compound; axillary; racemes, sometimes sub-umbellate, or the flowers solitary or paired. Flowers pedicellate; bracteate. Bracts persistent, or deciduous (leafy and persistent, or small and caducous). Flowers ebracteolate; small to medium-sized; fragrant, or odourless; very irregular; zygomorphic; resupinate, or not resupinate. The floral asymmetry involving the perianth and involving the androecium. Flowers papilionaceous; 5 merous; tetracyclic. Floral receptacle developing a gynophore (short), or with neither androphore nor gynophore. Free hypanthium present, or absent. Hypogynous disk absent. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; lobed; toothed. Calyx lobes markedly shorter than the tube (the two upper), or about the same length as the tube (the three lower). Calyx erect, or spreading; imbricate; exceeded by the corolla; bilabiate; neither appendaged nor spurred; green; non-fleshy; persistent; non-accrescent; with the median member anterior. Calyx lobes triangular. Corolla present; 5; 1 -whorled; appendiculate (the standard). Standard appendaged (auriculate near the base). Corolla partially gamopetalous. 4 of the petals joined (the two ventral petals connivent to form the ‘keel’, and the wings adherent to the keel). The joined petals anterior (and lateral). The wings of the corolla adherent to the keel; not laterally spurred. Standard ‘normally’ developed; entire (e.g. K. nigricans), or emarginate; not sericeous. Keel conspicuously exceeded by the wings to conspicuously exceeding the wings; not long-acuminate/beaked; neither coiled nor spiralled; not bent and beaked. Corolla imbricate (descending); glabrous abaxially; glabrous adaxially; with contrasting markings; yellow and red, or yellow and pink, or yellow and purple, or yellow and black (almost, in K. nigricans); deciduous; non-accrescent. Petals clawed. Androecium present. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 10. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal to markedly unequal; coherent; 2 - adelphous (with the tenth, posterior stamen free of the rest, whose filaments are united into a split tube). The staminal tube free from the keel petals. Androecial members 1 -whorled (but the antesepalous members longer and differently pigmented in K. nigricans). Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 10; remaining included; all more or less similar in shape; diplostemonous; both opposite and alternating with the corolla members. Filaments glabrous; cylindrical. Anthers separate from one another to connivent; more or less all alike (alternately slightly larger and smaller); dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed as single grains. Gynoecium 1 carpelled. The pistil 1 celled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium monomerous; of one carpel; superior. Carpel stylate; apically stigmatic. Style bent (from the base), or curved. Style hairy but not bearded. Stigmatic tissue terminal. Carpel 4–50 ovuled (i.e. to ‘many’). Placentation marginal. Gynoecium median. Ovary shortly stipitate, or sessile to subsessile. Ovules differentiated; funicled; pendulous to ascending; biseriate; arillate; anatropous, or campylotropous to amphitropous, or hemianatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit 12–60 mm long; subsessile, or sessile; non-fleshy; shortly and sparsely hairy; not spinose. The fruiting carpel dehiscent; a legume. Pods much elongated; not triangular; straight; beaked; not becoming inflated; more or less flat, or somewhat compressed, or terete; irregularly constricted, or not constricted between the seeds; transversely septate between the seeds (the septa pithy); wingless; not internally hairy. Valves of the dehisced pod not twisted. Fruit 1 celled. Dispersal unit the seed. Fruit 4–50 seeded. Seeds endospermic; not mucous; small; arillate. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight, or curved, or bent. Testa hard; non-operculate; smooth. Micropyle zigzag, or not zigzag. Seedling. Germination cryptocotylar.

Special features. Calyx limb 5 lobed. Upper lip of calyx lobed; 2 lobed. Lower lip of calyx lobed; 3 lobed.

Geography, cytology, number of species. Australian. Native of Australia. Endemic to Australia. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, and Tasmania. Eremaean Botanical Province and South-West Botanical Province. A genus of 15 species; 11 species in Western Australia; 10 endemic to Western Australia.

Leslie Watson and T.D. Macfarlane, 8 September 2016

Taxonomic Literature

  • Lally, Terena R. (2010). A taxonomic revision of the Western Australian endemic species Kennedia coccinea (Fabaceae).
  • Wheeler, Judy; Marchant, Neville; Lewington, Margaret; Graham, Lorraine (2002). Flora of the south west, Bunbury, Augusta, Denmark. Volume 2, dicotyledons. Australian Biological Resources Study. Canberra.
  • Grieve, B. J.; Blackall, W. E. (1998). How to know Western Australian wildflowers : a key to the flora of the extratropical regions of Western Australia. Part II, Dicotyledons (Amaranthaceae to Lythraceae). University of W.A. Press. Nedlands, W.A.
  • Marchant, N. G.; Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Bennett, E. M.; Lander, N. S.; Macfarlane, T. D.; Western Australian Herbarium (1987). Flora of the Perth region. Part one. Western Australian Herbarium. [Perth].