Plants of
South Australia
Pultenaea vestita
Feather Bush-pea
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3


Pultenaea named after Richard Pulteney (1730-1801), an English physician, botanist and biographer of Carl Linnaeus. Vestita from the Latin 'vestitus' meaning to clothed; possibly referring to the ciliate stipules that closely imbricating the flowers.

Distribution and status

Found on the Eyre Peninsula, southern Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island in South Australia, growing in dry sclerophyll forest, mallee and heaths on cliffs or fore-dunes on and or loams over limestone near the coast. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Rare in South Australia. Very rare in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect to prostrate, sometimes mat-forming shrub to 2 m high, with branchlets sparsely to densely hairy. Leaves alternate, to 9.2 mm long and 1.8 mm wide, elliptic to linear, not pungent tip, concave to channelled or 1-furrowed above by the in curved margins. Inflorescences few in dense terminal heads often on end of branches or axillary at first, with yellow to red pea-flowers. Flowering between November and January. Fruits are hairy brown ovoid pod. Seeds are yellowish brown with minor black mottled reniform seed to 2 mm long and 1.2 mm wide, with a cream aril. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and February. 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.