Common name: Handsome Flat Pea
Platylobium formosum Sm. APNI*
Description: Erect, straggling or prostrate shrub or subshrub to 2.5 m high; stems glabrous, villous or scabrous.
Leaves narrow- to broad-ovate, 1–6.5 cm long, 15–20 mm wide, apex pungent or mucronate, base cordate, upper surface reticulate, glabrous or scabrous, lower surface paler, glabrous or sparsely hairy; stipules 2–5 mm long, persistent.
Flowers 8–15 mm long; pedicels mostly 10–30 mm long, hairy; bracts ≤ 4 mm long; bracteoles 3–5 mm long. Calyx 5–10 mm long, pubescent. Corolla mostly orange-yellow and red but keel often purplish. Ovary stipitate, glabrous or hairy, c. 8-ovuled.
Pod oblong, 20–40 mm long, glabrous or hairy.
Distribution and occurrence: Widespread, in various habitats from heath to rainforest margins.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, CT, ST, CWS, SWS
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas.
A polymorphic species variable in leaf shape and size, petiole and pedicel length and degree of pubescence, particularly of ovary and pod. The key to subspecies is useful in some districts of N.S.W. where typical forms of subsp. formosum and subsp. parviflorum are found. In coastal districts, however, subspecies are linked by numerous and various intermediates which cannot be satisfactorily placed in either.
Text by T. A. James
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.