Swainsona formosa, Clianthus formosus, Clianthus dampieri, Sturt's desert pea

Swainsona formosa, Clianthus formosus, Clianthus dampieri

Sturt's desert pea
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Origin: Central Australia
Groundcover and low-growing 2ft plantSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterRed, crimson, vinous flowers

Ornamental groundcover with large black-centred red pea flowers over summer. Needs good drainage and a sunny position. Avoid watering on foliage. Moderately frost tolerant. In cultivation the desert pea is regarded as difficult and few people attempt to grow it. However it can be grown successfully in many areas if treated as an annual. Success is often reported by growing the plant in a deep container an a sunny, frost-free position. Propagation is best from seed which should be pretreated by scarification (using sheets of sandpaper) or by soaking in hot water. Seed is best sown where the plants are to be grown as seedlings are reported to be difficult to transplant. Sowing in late winter or early spring would be best if frost is a problem.

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