Plants of
South Australia
Hardenbergia violacea
Leguminosae
Purple Coral-pea
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5.

Etymology

Hardenbergia, named after Franziska, Countess von Hardenberg, a 19th century Austrian noblewoman, patron of botany and a sister of Baron von Hügel who collected plants in Western Australia in 1833. Violacea, from Latin meaning violet colour, referring to the typical colour of the flower.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern South Australia from the Eyre Peninsula to the upper South-east, growing in drier open-forests and woodlands. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Very rare in Tasmania. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Scrambling or trailing perennial shrub with branches that twist around the stems of other plants. Leaves leathery, glabrous; ovate to lanceolate, to 10 cm long, arranged alternately along the stem on stalks to 4 cm long. Inflorescence in axillary clusters with violet (rarely pink or white) pea-flowers. Flowering between July and November. Fruits are dark brown flattened oblong pod to 50 mm long by 8 mm wide. Seeds are orange reniform seed to 4.2 mm long and 2.2 mm wide. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect mature pods, those turning brown that contain hard seeds inside. Place the pods in a tray and cover with paper to prevent seeds popping out and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the pods with your hands 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. From two collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 90% to 100%. This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
16,100 (215 g)
16,100 (215 g)
1008-Dec-2004DJD74
Eyre Peninsula
31-Mar-2006100%-18°C
BGA1,540 (34.34 g)18-Dec-2005KHB16
Murray
7-Aug-200690%-18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
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