Plants of
South Australia
Daviesia ulicifolia ssp. ulicifolia
Gorse Bitter-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: 7.


Daviesia named after the Rev. Hugh Davies (1739-1821), a Welsh botanist and an Anglican clergyman. Ulicifolia means having foliage like the genus Ulex (gorse).

Distribution and status

Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia growing in dry sclerophyll forest. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Shrubs to 2.5 m high. Leaves narrow-ovate or elliptical to 20 mm long and 3 mm wide; upper face convex with mid-rib more prominent than below. Inflorescences 1 or 2 in the axils, uni-flowered or umbellate with 2-4 yellow pea-flowers. This subspecies differs from the other two subspecies found in South Australia in having standard petals all yellow. Flowering between August and November. Fruits are brown asymmetrically triangular pod, beaked with the persistent style. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and December. Collect maturing brown seed pods from the plant using secateurs or by hand. Plant is prickly so it is advisable to wear gloves. Leave the pods in a paper bag to dry for at least a week. Rub the pods gently with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the seeds from unwanted material. Store the dried fruit heads 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).