Mallee Bush-pea

Description

Common names

Mallee Bush-pea, Small-leafed Eutaxia, Eutaxia, Common Eutaxia, Spiny Bushpea.

Scientific names

Eutaxia microphylla, Eutaxia microphylla var. microphylla.

Family

Fabaceae.

Genus

Eutaxia.

Name origin

Eutaxia, from Greek eu, well, and taxis, order arrangement, probably referring to the regimented leaf arrangement. Microphylla, from Greek micros, small, and phyllon, leaf, referring to small leaves.

Rainfall

300mm.

Growth rate

Moderate.

Presence in Australia

Noted west of the Olympic Highway in the areas Urana-Rand-Corowa; Long Plain-West Hume; Burrumbuttock-West Hume; Walla Walla and Brookong.

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

Habitat

Mallee, Mugga Ironbark communities and various woodlands.

Habit

Variable, low, dense, intricate or erect perennial shrub. Tiny linear grey-green leaves and brown twiggy stems, sometimes spiny-tipped.

Site preference

Open position in dry, well-drained soil and full sun. Tolerates wet winter soil, full shade, most frost and drought. Resents poorly-drained soil.

Characteristics

Adapts to most soils.

Flowering

Yellow and red, sometimes all yellow, spring. Profuse.

Seed collection

Late Nov to mid Feb. Monitor closely as seeds shed soon after maturity.

Propagation

From scarified seed or cuttings, which strike readily. Pour very hot water over seeds and soak until water cools. Dry to prevent rotting and sow. Germination takes 3-4 weeks.

Land protection

Useful in controlling soil erosion in small areas due to fibrous roots. Legume, improves soil fertility through "fixing" nitrogen.

Ornamental

Excellent for containers, pool edges, groundcover, rockeries, hanging baskets and under trees. Prune severely to promote bushiness. Popular in cultivation.