Cultivation Notes

Sturt Pea

Scientific Name: SWAINSONA formosa

Common Name: Sturt Pea

Alternative Common Name: Sturt’s Desert Pea

Family: Fabaceae

Height: Up to 0.5m

Width: Up to 2m

Description: Floral emblem of South Australia. See: http://www.australian-aridlands-botanic-garden.org/general/plants/p_spec/f_swfo.htm Annual vine-like creeper and ground-cover. Grey-green, furry leaves and stem. Can be trailed over rocks, walls or from deep baskets. Easy to grow from seed.

Flowers: Clusters of brilliant deep scarlet flowers, each with a black, maroon or red centre, from Spring to Summer.

Soil: Grows well in any deep, well-drained soil type – but prefers a slightly acid soil. Excellent drainage is essential.

Aspects: Drought resistant. Full Sun, with protection from frost. Will tolerate light frodsts once established.Avoid watering foliage. After flowering is finished the plant will slowly die, leaving a withered vine. Refresh the garden bed or potting soil for re-planting late next Winter.

Habitat: Occurs in all mainland States of Australia except Victoria, in arid woodlands and on open plains. Will withstand the extremes of temperature experienced in inland deserts.

Growing: Soak seeds overnight in a cup of hot (not boiling) water. A “pinch” of WILDFLOWER SEED STARTER in the water can improve germination. Remove swollen seeds to sow. Lightly scratch the shell of unswollen seeds opposite the “eye” with a knife or sandpaper and soak again in hot water. In small pots sow 2-3 swollen seeds 6mm (1/4″) deep into each. Keep the soil moist. Germination takes 4-10 days.

Landscape: Excellent for rockeries, open gardens or large, deep pots, tubs and hanging baskets. Allow room to trail over ground, rockery, wall, basket, etc.

Cultivation: When a tap root appears from a pot, transplant to an open sunny position. Water in well and water regularly until established, then once a week in dry weather, using a trickle system around the roots. Avoid watering onto the foliage. Protect from snails. In cold areas sow in a glasshouse or after risk of frost has passed. In glasshouses or humid conditions ventilate and reduce watering.

Seed Starter Required: Helpful.