Grey Bush-pea

Description

Common names

Grey Bush-pea, Prickly Pea, Spiny Bush-pea.

Scientific names

Pultenaea spinosa, Pultenaea cunninghamii.

Family

Fabaceae.

Genus

Pultenaea.

Name origin

Pultenaea, after Richard Pulteney (1730-1801), English botanist. Cunninghamii, after A. Cunningham, Australian explorer.

Rainfall

600mm.

Growth rate

Moderate, fast.

Growth height

0.5-2m.

Presence in Australia

Predominantly east of the Olympic Highway. Noted in the areas Bowna-Jindera; Yambla; Talmalmo-Murray; Scent Bottle-Serpentine-Upper Yarra Yarra; Coppabella; Lower Adelong and Upper Gilmore and Sandy.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, SA.

Habitat

Dry sclerophyll woodland to forest, generally on sandy or stony soil.

Habit

Erect spreading shrub 50cm to 2m high. Drooping branchlets, grey-green leaves pointed at tips. Growing tips often pink/orange.

Site preference

Well-drained soil in partial sun. Tolerates drought and frost.

Characteristics

Fast-growing. Lifespan may be several decades.

Flowering

Yellow-orange with red, Oct-Dec. Usually flowers for 4-6 weeks.

Seed collection

Mid Oct to late Feb. Monitor closely as seeds shed immediately or within 1-2 days of maturity.

Propagation

From scarified seed, or cuttings of firm young growth (rooting hormones should improve strike rate). Pour boiling or very hot water over seeds and soak until water cools. Dry to prevent rotting and sow. Germination takes 3-4 weeks. Suitable for direct seeding in pots (2-3 seeds per pot).

Regeneration

From seed, particularly after fire.

Shade and shelter

Useful low-level cover in windbreaks. Important understorey component.

Land protection

Legume - improves soil fertility through "fixing" nitrogen.

Wildlife

Good habitat. Flowers are a nectar source for native wasps and bees. Wallabies graze foliage.

Ornamental

Attractive ornamental. Interesting, colourful foliage.