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Kennedia rubicunda, the Dusky Coral Pea

Kennedia rubicunda, Dusky Coral Pea, is a vigorous climber or creeper. The long stems are either spreading or twining. Leaves are glossy green and divided into three leaflets. Each leaflet is up to 16 centimetres long by a maximum of six centimetres wide with either a rounded or pointed apex.

The large flowers are pea shaped, up to four centimetres long by two centimetres wide, deep red and held in axillary clusters. Flowering occurs in spring and summer when the blooms are usually profuse and conspicuous. Flowers are followed by flat seed pods containing a number of hard-coated seeds.

K. rubicunda is a widespread species occurring in all the eastern mainland states in a number of habitats.

We have found that the Dusky Coral Pea struggles in our cold climate garden, on the Northern Tablelands of NSW. In areas prone to frosts the species needs to be grown in sheltered situations.

K. rubicunda was introduced into cultivation in England in 1788.

The genus is named after John Kennedy (1759-1842) an English nurseryman and the species name refers to the flower colour.

Propagate from seed that needs soaking in hot water before sowing and cuttings.

Warren and Gloria Sheather

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