Sturt Desert Pea

I introduced the Sturt Desert Rose some time ago, in a post that also pointed out that explorers Sturt and Stuart were two different people. If you’re interested, you can read that here. The Sturt Desert Rose is the floral emblem of the Northern Territory. The Sturt Desert Pea, which is shown in the photo below, is the floral emblem of South Australia.

Many flowers were coming out in the wake of the flood, and even plants that had been green before the flood brightened and expanded with the abundance of water.

Charmed by many of the flowers I saw as I traveled around Australia, I not too surprisingly bought packets of seeds to grow in pots back home. The thing I hadn’t counted on was that many Australian plants absolutely require some sort of disaster in order to germinate. I had a good laugh when I finally returned home and started to read the instructions on the packets prior to planting my seeds. The instructions included ways of recreating the necessary disastrous conditions to get the seeds to sprout. For the fringed lilies, which germinate in forest fires, I was instructed to mound dried leaves or shredded newspaper several inches deep on top of the pot, after planting the seeds, and set the whole thing on fire. That could create enough heat to convince the seeds they’d been through the requisite forest fire.

For the Sturt Desert Pea, the needed cataclysm was a flood. For these I had to soak the seeds in warm water for three days before planting, and then had to water thoroughly every day for the next few days.

I had better luck with the Sturt Desert Peas, as it was easier to soak seeds than to torch mounds of leaves in an apartment building.

So be advised: should you travel to Australia and hope to return with some seeds to plant back home, check the package first, to find out if you need to recreate a flood or conflagration in order to get them to grow.

Sturt Desert Pea

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1 Comment

Filed under Australia, Book, Geography, History, Nature, Travel

One response to “Sturt Desert Pea

  1. “The thing I hadn’t counted on was that many Australian plants absolutely require some sort of disaster in order to germinate”

    I’d never have thought of it in that way, but now that you mention it, they do, don’t they? 😀

    Gold!

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