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Swainsona galegifolia - Smooth Darling Pea

Swainsona galegifolia - Smooth Darling Pea


Swainsona galegifolia, commonly known as the Smooth Darling Pea occurs naturally in inland New South Wales and Queensland and is a close relative of Sturt's Desert Pea and grows as a long lived shrubby perennial worth having in every garden because of its easy cultivation and very long flowering season. 


1m long branches grow annually from the crown and in a crown crowded with new shoots, the outer ones tend to be pushed outward and lead to a more spreading shape, especially if the shrub is allowed ample room when it is first planted.  In groups, plants support each other so lead to a more upright habit.

Top growth is susceptible to frost and in a cold area, plants may be partly frosted, however, if this wood is cut out at the end of Winter it is replaced by strong new stems.  Branches are well clothed to ground level with fine pinnate leaves about 10cm long, are smooth and sometimes greyish, forming a bold, graceful outline, even without flowers.

Flower spikes are up to 15cm long and are held well on long stems, they open to sturdy pea flowers nearly 2.5cm across in colours that range from pure white through to clear pinks and mauves to magenta crimson, the latter probably being the more normal.  Flowers are followed by balloon like pods, often tinted pink and the best display is in November.

The old flowered branches must be cut out each year at the end of Winter, or in warmer climates after the main flowering season in Autumn.  If this wood is not removed the plant becomes weak and sparse with branches falling about and blowing off in strong winds.

This species is easily propagated from seed.  Seedlings should be planted out from small pots and will flower about a year later and thrive in any soil, are useful for a quick cover in a difficult situation and excellent as single specimens.  Allow about 1m spacing in group plantings and occasional applications of weak fertiliser dressings are helpful in Spring and Summer.

They are generally pest and disease free but are occasionally attacked by aphids and caterpillars.  

Note that Swainsona is poisonous to stock.

30 premium quality seeds shipped on receipt of cleared funds. 

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