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Sturt's desert pea

One of Australia’s most famous desert wildflowers, Sturt’s desert pea is found across inland arid regions of Australia, including far west NSW. One of the most easily-recognised Australian native plants, Sturt’s desert pea thrives in red sandy soil, or loam, and has vibrant red leaf-shaped flowers with a black centre, known as a ‘boss’.

Read more about Sturt's desert pea

Sturt’s desert pea is famous for its distinctive slender-tipped red flower. Although the floral emblem for South Australia, this easily-recognised wildflower is found throughout inland arid zones of Australia.

Sturt’s desert pea is part of the genus swainsona, named after English botanist Isaac Swainson. The common name of the plant was given in honour of the British explorer of Australia, Charles Sturt.

This sprawling native plant produces stems that can reach 2m in length. It normally blooms from June to March, however flowering can depend on seasonal rains.

Plant facts

Common name
Sturt’s desert pea
Scientific name
Swainsona formosa
Conservation status in NSW
Protected

Parks in which this plant is found

Sturt's Desert Peas, Sturt National Park. Photo: Dina Bullivant