Swainsona formosa – Sturt’s Desert Pea

 

An iconic flower from arid desert regions in central Australia, with distinctive red flowers highlighted by the deep black centres. It has pinnate grey green leaves, and it is mostly sprawling and low growing in habit. There are different coloured forms, from cream to pink to all red without the black centre.
To grow the Sturt’s desert pea, it needs perfect drainage, full sun, and minimal watering once the seedling becomes established. A good way to grow in the garden, is in a large tub or a terracotta drainage pipe stood upright and filled with gritty free draining soil. Hanging baskets are also a great way to grow them. It is usually treated as an annual, and should flower 4 months after sowing from seed.
It was formerly known as Clianthus formosus, and is a protected plant in South Australia.

Family:Fabaceae
Scientific Name:Swainsona formosa
Common Name:Sturt's Desert Pea
Plant Type:Small shrub, Ground cover
Height:0.5 ~ 2 metres
Width:1 ~ 3 metre
Flower Colour:Cream, Red, Pink, Black
Flowering Time:Spring, Summer
Ph Level:Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil Type:Sandy, Sandy loam
Plant Environment:Container growing, Cottage garden, Flower garden, Drought resistant
Climate Zone:Warm temperate, Mediterranean, Semi-arid, Arid
Light:Sunny
Growth Habit:Evergreen, Spreading, Mound-shaped, Weeping
Lifespan:Biennial
Soil Moisture:Well-drained
Propagation Method:Seed
Frost Tolerance:Tolerates light frost
Plant Usage:Groundcover, Feature plant, Attractive foliage, Wow factor
Special Uses:
Attracts Wildlife:Other insects

The information provided on the Gardening With Angus website is provided for general educational purposes about a variety of Australian plants. We recommend you seek further advice from qualified professionals regarding your own individual circumstances.  Further disclaimer information>>


WHERE TO GET YOUR PLANT

Once you have found the plant that looks right for you, the next step is where to buy it.
Most nurseries stock a good range of plants, but due to space and supplies, they may not always have the plant that you are searching for in stock. If they don’t, they may be able to order it in for you if you request it.
Specialist nurseries are also able to give great advice, and if they don’t have the plant you have planned on, they can often suggest alternatives that will also work well for you.
Below is a list of our favourite specialist nurseries. Click on the links for their details-

 

The Wildflower Place Erina – NSW 

 

Sydney Wildflower Nursery – NSW

 

Newcastle Wildflower Nursery – NSW

 

IndigiGrow- Sydney- NSW

 

Harvest Seeds And Native Plant Nursery – Sydney – NSW

 

Cool Country Natives – ACT

 

Geelong Native Plants – Victoria

 

Wimmera Native Nursery – Victoria

 

Zanthorrea Nursery – Perth WA

 

Manuka Native Nursery – South Australia

 

MAIL ORDER NURSERIES –

 

Sydney Wildflower Nursery – mail order

 

The Native Shop – mail order

 


 

 

Angus recommends Bush Tucker fertiliser for native plants.