Swainsonia formosa or Sturt's Desert Pea is a low growing, almost prostrate annual with grey green, hairy foliage made up of many leafelts along a stem. In spring it produces arresting scarlet flowers with black blobs (boss) on them that look like two eyes. It can be planted as a ground-cover, in a container or trailing over rocks and being a natural desert dweller will grow in any old soil in difficult conditions. It develops a taproot and resents transplanting. The hairy leaves contribute to its ability to thrive in arid conditions by reducing transpiration.
A protected species in South Australia, Glory Pea flowers and plants must not be collected on private land without the written consent of the owner. Tender Perennial for zones 8-10.
Other Names: Sturt's Desert pea, Showy Donia, Dampier’s Clianthus, Clianthus dampieri, Clianthus formosus, Clianthus speciosus, floral emblem of South Australia