Handsome Flat-pea, Flat Pea, Handsome Flat-pea.
Platylobium, from Greek platys, flat, and lobos, pod, referring to flat pods. Formosum, from Latin formosus, beautiful.
Up to 2.5m.
Presence in Australia
Widespread, in most areas of the region.
This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas.
Various habitats, from heath to rainforest margins.
Erect, straggling or prostrate shrub, to 2.5m high. Green leaves 1-6.5cm long.
Moist well-drained soil in semi-shade. Tolerates frost and drought.
Very variable in leaf shape, leaf size, flowers and pods.
Yellow and red, spring to early summer.
Mid to late Dec. Monitor closely as seeds shed immediately or very soon after maturity. Ensure collection by securing nylon stockings or paper bags to fruiting branches after flowering.
From scarified seed (which may be difficult to germinate); from cuttings of young growth, or layered stems. 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). Add local soil to potting mix to introduce beneficial micro-organisms, and enhance success.
From seed, particularly after fire.
Shade and shelter
Useful low-level cover in windbreaks. Important component of understorey.
Legume - improves soil fertility through "fixing" nitrogen.
Good habitat. Native bees, wasps and butterflies pollinate flowers. Parrots, including the Red-rumped Parrot and Turquoise Parrot, and finches eat seeds.
Highly attractive ornamental for gardens and embankments, particularly when flowering.
Very adaptable in cultivation.