Plants of
South Australia
Pultenaea rigida
Rigid Bush-pea,
Island Bush-pea
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3

Prior names

Pultenaea rigida var. rigida

Pultenaea rigida var. ovata

Common names

Rigid Bush-pea

Island Bush-pea


Pultenaea named after Richard Pulteney (1730-1801), an English physician, botanist and biographer of Carl Linnaeus. Rigida from the Latin 'rigidus' meaning stiff; referring to the stiff leaves and stems.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found on the southern Eyre Peninsula, southern Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, growing mainly along the coast. Native. Rare in South Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Much branched rigid shrub with young branches hairy. Leaves sessile on wrinkled nodes, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, to 15 mm long, very rigid, tapering into a pungent point, flattish with slightly in curved margins, glabrous. Inflorescence solitary, axillary or few in small terminal leafy clusters with yellow pea-flowers. Flowering between September and November. Fruits are hairy brown to black ovoid pod to 6 mm long. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between February and December. Collect maturing pods, those that are brown or turning brown and contain hard seeds inside. Place the pods in a paper bag and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the pods with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the 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. The seed coat needs to be ruptured so that water can enter the seed before germination can occur. Methods to rupture the seed coat include scarification with sand paper or nicking the seed coat with a sharp blade or hot water treatment by immersion in boiling water.