Common Flat-pea (Platylobium obtusangulum)

Although the petals are a little battered around, this photograph shows the colour and shape of the Common Flat-pea flower.

Working toward  my goal to identify the various Australian native pea plants we have growing here, I have identified this one as the Common Flat-pea.  Yesterday it was full of flowers and unopened buds but the wind was strong,  making it difficult to get a clear shot at the trembling flowers.  This morning we saw a Swamp Wallaby in the vicinity of the plant and by the time I got out there with my camera this afternoon, most of the open flowers were gone, and the plant looked to be half the size it was yesterday.   I’m happy I was able to take these photographs before the entire plant was eaten.  I do love the Wallabies and I realise this is their natural diet – native plants growing in the bush – but I just wish they would eat some of the less interesting plants.

The key identifying feature of the Common Flat-pea is the shape of the leaf.  The botanical name reflects this with obtusangulum  stemming from ‘obtuse angle’.  The leaves are an elongated triangle shape, with sharp points on the three corners.

The triangular leaves of the Common Flat-pea have sharp points on each of the corners. They are quite distinctive and helped enormously in identifying the plant.


Another interesting feature is the brown, hairy buds:

In yesterday’s wind, this was the best photo I could get of an open flower with buds at the side. Notice the ant on one of the buds.
At first it was difficult to tell if these were unopened buds or spent flowers due to the dull brown colour and hairy covering. I thought they may be the pods at one point, but I believe they are unopened buds.

This photograph was taken yesterday in the high wind.  There were a few open flowers and you can see the way the plant was sprawled in among grasses and other plants.  It is growing on the side of the dam wall.

Common-flat-pea-plant-growing wild-showing-stems-leaves-buds-and-flowers
Growing here were the Common Flat-pea, Twining Fringe-lily and Guinea-flowers, among other things.

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