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From the dusty, dry Australian outback comes the brightest and most showy member of the pea family, the Sturt's Desert Pea.
Botanically known as Clianthus formosus, this hardy, sprawling annual is closely related to Clianthus puniceus, the New Zealand Kaka Beak.
Prostrate stems produce woolly grey, fern-like foliage and stout stems crowned with quite large and brilliantly showy crested blooms in scarlet with a black or white eye.
In full bloom they put on a breathtaking display earning them the name Glory Pea.
These desert plants dislike humidity or misty coastal spray but thrive in poor gravelly or sandy soils in hot, dry, sunny spots where little else will survive.
The secret is perfect drainage and avoid over watering or heavy feeding. Good in tubs or large containers, rockeries, and as a wall cascade.
Plant now through early summer where the plants are to flower. Nick the seed coat before planting to speed germination.