Plants of
South Australia
Pultenaea prostrata
Leguminosae
Silky Bush-pea
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
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Hawker
Innamincka
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5.

Etymology

Pultenaea named after Richard Pulteney (1730-1801), an English physician, botanist and biographer of Carl Linnaeus. Prostrata from Latin meaning flat on the ground or prostrate; referring to the species habit.

Distribution and status

Found in the Murrayland and the South-east in South Australia, growing in dry sclerophyll forest, mallee, heath and open woodland. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Tasmania. Common in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Murray, South Eastern
NRM regions: South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Small wiry shrub with erect or decumbent branches generally less than 50 cm high, with young parts hairy. Leaves alternate, linear to terete, to 6 mm long and 0.7 mm wide, channelled above, outer surface silky or glabrous with age, stipules triangular.Inflorescence singly at tips of short lateral branchlets with yellow to red pea-flowers. Flowering between September and November. Fruits are hairy dark brown ovoid pod, almost hidden within calyx and bracts. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November 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.