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Swainsonia

Posted by funnelweb NSW Aust (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 17, 14 at 3:11

This is my second attempt at growing Sturt's Desert Pea, a native of South Australia: my first attempt simply died. The other day wandering through that big green store I spied it among the plants in their gardening section and couldn't resist another try. It's flowered, probably only get one season out of it but there you go.

B.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Swainsonia

Love your photo. Isn't also called Sturt's Desert Pea?
So your doing something right to getting it in flower.


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RE: Swainsonia

Yes, it is Inga, I mentioned the common name, 'Sturt's desert Pea', in my blurb above. Fascinating plant, oddly enough the label says it doesn't like to dry out, you know, 'keep moist', which is in contrast to it's common name. This particular specimen is a hybrid, so, in this unnaturally dry, yet humid, summer-cum-autumn climate, I'm interested to see how it performs.
B


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RE: Swainsonia

I've always liked these but I'd never even consider trying to grow one. They grow naturally in South Australia and also in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. I've found them (in habitat) growing within about 100 kms inland from Port Hedland. In that climate they get a lot of rain throughout summer and a very dry winter. Plants in South Australia would be the opposite, dry summer and wetter winter. Always made me wonder whether plants that originate in different climates have different requirements, or whether any of them will cope anywhere within the range of the species.

One of them from near Port Hedland.


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RE: Swainsonia

Lovely photo of a more mature plant than mine, Tropi. Aussie natives are more specialised and fussy about their growing requirements than most exotics, even though sometimes they seem to contradict that. I was surprised when I managed a banksia coccinea to live and flower for over four years in this eastern, ocean facing (sub-tropical) climate, so I've learned to do the best I can with simulating the conditions and just give it a go. I bought my Sturts Desert Pea at Bunnings, a hybrid, I think the label said, so, for about 9 bucks, nothing ventured, nothing gained.


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RE: Swainsonia

Both, are lovely photos. I like the leaves too.


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RE: Swainsonia

Funnelweb.. beautiful plants. Maybe you didn't kill your other one. Do you know that even in their native habitat, S.formosa is usually an annual? Re-germinates from the seeds every year. You should save some from your plant if it develop them. And the seeds need to be scarified before growing on. Since yours is a hybrid, next year's plants will probably revert to type. Surprises are good!

Good drainage in a sandy soil is essential, as they're prone to Fusarium root rot. Fussy as all heck to grow, but very rewarding if you succeed.

Best of luck!


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RE: Swainsonia

Yes, thanks shaxhome, I've got it in quite free draining sandyish soil and now, though the flowers have finished, it's looking quite good. Being late in in the season I'm hoping I might get another burst out of it, although, like many Aussie natives, it is fussy.


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