Plants of
South Australia
Bossiaea prostrata
Creeping Bossiaea
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3

Prior names

Platylobium ovatum

Bossiaea ovata

Common names

Creeping Bossiaea


Bossiaea named after Joseph Hugues Boissieu (de) La Martiniere (1758-1788), a French physician, biologist and botanist. Prostrata from Latin meaning flat on the ground or prostrate, referring to the species' habit.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern Flinders Ranges, Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia, growing in heath and woodland on a variety of soil types. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Queensland. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Procumbent subshrub with stems somewhat flattened apically, glabrous or with short appressed or spreading hairs. Leaves alternate, unifoliolate, often rather distant, variable on a single plant, circular to narrow-ovate or oblong, to 24 mm long and 13 mm wide, glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Flowers 1 or 2 together on a long pedicels to 2 cm with yellow pea-flowers. Flowering between September and November. Fruits are brown flattened oblong pod to 3 cm long. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect mature pods, those drying off, turning brown and contain dark hard seeds inside. Pods with viable seeds are produced sporadically and depend on good rainfall. Not all plants will set seeds. Place the pods in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the pods gently with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the seeds from unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).