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Thorny Pea, Nipple Bush or Prickly Bitter Pea
Characteristics: Shrub 0.4 to 3 m spread 0.5 to 4 m
Seeds per packet: Approx 10
An erect spreading spreading shrub in the pea family with yellow-orange and red-brown pea shaped flowers occurring in clusters from August to November.
Leaves (phylloclades) are reduced to scales giving the appearance of having no leaves.
Occurs naturally in the coastal regions of the South-west province of Western Australian between Geraldton and Augusta.
Prefers a light to medium moist soil in a open sunny position. Drought tolerant and resistant to light frost.Tolerant to windy coastal conditions.
Image credit Margerat R Donald CC BY-SA 4.0
Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn in temperate climates, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C
Seed germinate readily, however they do have a hard outer coating which is impervious to water. To assist in the uptake of moisture for germination to occur seed best scarified by pre-treating with hot water first.
Hot water treatment is recommended for this species.
General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.