Sturt’s Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa)
Was for many years included in the genus Clianthus and known as
Clianthus formosus. It has since been reclassified and placed in the genus
Swainsona (after Isaac Swainson, a scientist
and plant cultivator). Formosa is the Latin formosus, for beautiful, hence the
species Swainsona formosa.
The plant is more commonly known as “Sturt’s Desert Pea” after explorer Captain Charles
Sturt, who noted the occurrence of Swainsona formosa in 1844 while exploring
between Adelaide and Central Australia. Sturt’s journal “Narrative of an
Expedition into Central Australia” makes several references to the beauty of the
desert pea in flower and the harsh nature of its habitat.
flower of the Sturt's Desert Pea have been discovered to come in a range of
colour variation from white to deep pink.