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An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. 117 Hardenbergia comptoniana with Apis mellifera photo by Clare Snowball
  2. 117_0 Photo by Rich Weatherill
  3. 117_1 Closed seedpods photo by Rich Weatherill

Native Wisteria

Hardenbergia comptoniana

Appearance

  • Twining shrub or climber.
  • Size: varies depending on supporting plants of structures it is growing on.
  • Leaves: 3 and sometimes rarely 5 foliate. Leaflets are 4 – 6 cm long.
  • Flowers: blue to purple and in some cases white.  Typical "pea" shape consisting of 5 petals; the "standard", the "keel" (2 fused petals) and two "wings". Flowers are in an often drooping, elongate cluster
  • Fruit/seed: an explosive pea-like pod.

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower
  • Full flowering (record all days)
  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)
  • Open seed pods (record all days)

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect plants to start shooting and flowering earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. They may also start appearing in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them.

When To Look

  • Flowering from July to October
  • When the seeds are mature the dry, pea-like pods open explosively with a loud crack, throwing the seeds many metres. Listen for exploding Hardenbergia pods on hot summer days

Where To Look

  • Near the coast of south-west WA and in NSW.
  • Ranging from just south of Geraldton to Albany in WA.
  • Central NSW.
  • Look in Sandy soils near coastal limestone, sandplains and dunes.

References

Nevill et al. 2005. Guide to the Wildlife of the Perth Region. Simon Nevill Publications, Perth, Western Australia.

  1. Search Species

  1. What Else?

    Hardenbergia violacea is native to south-eastern Australia and only has one leaflet while Hardenbergia comptoniana is native to south-western Australia (and is introduced to parts of NSW) has 3 or sometimes 5 leaflets.

  1. Did You Know?

    Hardenbergia after Franziska Countess von Hardenberg.

    Comptoniana after Mary, 1st Marchioness of Northampton whose husband was Charles Compton.

    When the seeds are mature the dry, pea-like pods open explosively with a loud crack, throwing the seeds many metres. Listen for exploding Hardenbergia pods on hot summer days