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Wildflowers of Western Australia Pea Flowers

Pea Flowers

Fabulous Faboideae flaunts its flora flirtaciously

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Fabulous Faboideae
Fabulous Faboideae

Faboideae is a member of the huge Pea Family.

Typical fab-flowers have five brightly coloured petals, forming butterfly-shaped corollas.

- One upper petal called the standard (or banner)
- two side wings
- and a protective keel (two bottom petals fused at the apex).

Handsome Wedge-pea Gompholobium venustum
Handsome Wedge-pea

Here's how the tiny fab-flower works...

A heavy, nectar-hunting bee lands on a wing petal, which depresses on the keel.

The keel splits open exposing the stigma and ten stamens to the underside of the insect.

Pink Fab-flower Mirbelia
Pink Pea

In Australia, there are about 140 genera and 1100 species in the Fab-family.

700 of these species are the distinct yellow, orange and red

'Egg-and-Bacon' peas

from the aussie tribes Bossiaeeae and Mirbelieae.

Orange Fab-flower
Jacksonia rigida
Sturt's Desert Pea Swainsona formosa
Flower of Blood

Named after Captain Charles Sturt to commemorate his explorations of inland Australia.

Sturt's Desert Pea
Swainsona formosa

A creeping vine that runs along the ground and the most spectacular of all desert flowers.

The floral emblem of South Australia.

Egg and Bacon
Egg and Bacon
Scarlet Runner Kennedia prostrata
Running Postman

Scarlet Runner
Kennedia prostrata

The vine of this plant can be up to two metres long.
Used by Aborigines as string and rope, to bind and sew.

Sweet nectar was sucked from the flowers.

Purple Pea

Many species of the Fab-family produce fluoride and are called 'Poison Peas'.
eg. York Road Poison, Champion Bay Poison.

Seeds and leaves were eaten by native marsupials who developed a tolerance to the toxin, as well as storing large amounts of excess flouride in their bones.

Farmer's dog eats marsupial - dog and marsupial dies.

White Desert Pea Swainsona formosa
White Desert Pea
Green Peas
Green Peas
Fab Flower
Fab Flower