Hop Bitter-pea, Bitter-leaf, Broad-leaved Bitter Pea, Hop Bitter Pea.
Daviesia, after botanist the Rev. Hugh Davies (1739-1821). Latifolia, from Latin latus, broad, and folium, leaf, referring to broad "leaves".
Presence in Australia
Quite widespread, predominantly east of the Hume Highway.
This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas.
Dry sclerophyll communities and woodland, to 1800m altitude.
Open shrub 1-3m high (rarely to 5m). Broad dull green "leaves" and many tough erect branches.
Well-drained soil in dappled shade or partial sun. Tolerates frost and full sun.
Adaptable to most soils.
Orange-yellow with dark reddish markings, Sep-Dec. Showy.
Early Dec to late Jan. Monitor very closely as seeds released immediately or 1-2 days after maturity. To ensure collection, cover fruiting branches with nylon stockings or paper bags after flowering. When ripe, pods light-brown and brittle and rattle when shaken, with dark-coloured seed. May be difficult to obtain seed in useful quantities. Long storage life.
From scarified seed. Soak in near-boiling water for about 30 seconds, before cooling rapidly under flowing cold water. Alternatively soak in cold water for several hours. Dry to prevent rotting, before sowing. Germination takes 3-8 weeks. Suitable for direct seeding in pots (2-3 seeds per pot).
From seed or suckers, particularly after fire. Other Daviesia species establish well from direct seeding, although seed shortages may preclude this method.
Shade and shelter
Useful low-level cover in windbreaks.
Useful understorey in recharge plantings, and for improving soil fertility, through "fixing" nitrogen.
Good habitat. Flowers provide pollen and excellent nectar, food for various insects and native birds.
Very decorative with interesting foliage and attractive perfumed flowers. Plant in clumps to form dense thickets for best effect.
"Leaves" and stems produce fawn dye with alum as mordant. "Leaves" have medicinal properties and were substituted for hops. Reputedly used as drug that expels intestinal worms by European settlers. "Leaf" decoction taken to expel hydatid cysts, and also as tonic.