Open shrub to 4 m with glossy dark green leaves covered in fine rusty brown coloured hairs on rainforest margins or other damp or sheltered sites.

Leaves are green on top, golden brown underneath.

Bears masses of purple pea-flowers in winter to spring which attract bees.

Pods ‘pop’ audibly when ready to expel seeds.

Young pods may be edible. Caution is advised.

A pretty plant which is stunning in flower during its season. Good populations exist on dry hillsides in Brisbane Forest Park. Although ephemeral, copes well in dry conditions.

Photo: Robert Whyte


The characteristic pea flower (the shield and the codpiece) gives this species its common name. It is in a pea family (Fabaceae).

Photo: Robert Whyte