Plant of the Month — October 2018
Gastrolobium sericeum (Sm.) G.Chandler & Crisp
Gastrolobium sericeum is a weakly branched shrub to 1 m high often found scrambling up through other shrubs. The stunning black pea flowers occur from September to December.
Gastrolobium sericeum is endemic to south-west WA where it grows on the banks of water courses and swamp margins on clay and sandy soils in open shrublands. It occurs from east of Denmark, Cranbrook, on the western edge of the Stirling Range.
The name Gastrolobium is from the Greek words gastros, meaning "stomach", and lobus, meaning "pod", referring to the seed pods. The circumscription of the genus Gastrolobium and its allied genera has changed considerably over the years and species have been transferred from one genus to another on several occasions, with Gastrolobium now including species formerly in Brachysema, Jansonia, Nemcia and Oxylobium. Gastrolobium is now the largest genus (in number of species) of pea-flowered legumes from the tribe Mirbelieae in WA, and the third largest Australia-wide (after Pultenaea and Daviesia).
Photo: R. Davis
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