Local wildflowers #2

Hardenbergia violaceadougkSun, 27/11/2011 - 10:29am

purple coral pea
purple coral pea

After building our house in 2009 much of the landscape around the house was fairly barren and we made many trips to nurseries acquiring plants to fill out the garden. One of the Australian natives we planted was the purple coral pea - hardenbergia violacea. That specimen has so far struggled to survive let alone flower in some of the heavy clay soil exposed during the building. However ...

Over the past winter season we left the roadside bank unmolested by mowers and line trimmers. When spring came around, emerging amongst the weeds and grass were several self-sown native flowers including a wattle and the hardenbergia pictured above. I wonder whether these are escapees from another garden or just naturally occurring local flora?

Below is another pea family flower also found on the roadside bank. Like the Hardenbergia violacea it has a prostrate form. The flowers are very small and delicate and after the 15mm pea pods formed and dried the plant seemed to die back suggesting it is an annual. I have not as yet been able to confirm the identification of this plant. It looks to me like it is probably a small variety of Vicia sativa,  Common Vetch, (perhaps ssp. Nigra better known as Narrowleaf Vetch) and yet another import to this country. Vetch is usually grown as fodder crop because of its high nutritional value.


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