CrotalariaCrotalaria eremaea Green Bird Flower

The Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea), genus Crotalaria, is endemic to Central Australia. It currently includes two subspecies, Crotalaria eremaea ssp. eremaea and Crotalaria eremaea ssp. strehlowii. The subspecies Crotalaria eremaea ssp. strehlowii can have unifoliate or trifoliate leaves. Some information on the differences in the footnote.

Pictured here is believed to be Crotalaria eremaea subsp strehlowii. You can see the leaves are almost hairless and no side leaflets. Crotalaria eremaea subsp eremaea is hairy with triple leaflets.

Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea subsp strehlowii), Emily Gap NT

The Bluebush Pea is a bushy shrub (it can look scraggly) with masses of bright yellow pea flowers, usually in spring (the photos here were taken in October).

The flowers occur in loose clusters 10-15 cm long, with erect stems are branched and can be hairy. The leaves are oval, blunt, and silvery grey to green.

Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea subsp strehlowii), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea subsp strehlowii), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea subsp strehlowii), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea subsp strehlowii), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea subsp strehlowii), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea), Emily Gap NT
Bluebush Pea (Crotalaria eremaea subsp strehlowii), Emily Gap NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Tracheophyta
  • Subphylum: Angiospermae
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Fabales
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Subfamily: Faboideae
  • Tribe: Crotalarieae
  • Genus: Crotalaria
  • Species: Crotalaria eremaea
  • Subspecies:
    • Crotalaria eremaea ssp. eremaea
    • Crotalaria eremaea ssp. strehlowii

Footnote & References

  1. Many thanks to Sue Morrish for ID and to Barb Jim Gilfedder for the sub-species clarification of ID, members of Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club, Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/alicefieldnats/
  2. Crotalaria eremaea F.Muell., Bluebush Pea, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://id.biodiversity.org.au/node/apni/2887907
  3. Crotalaria eremaea, eFloraSA, Electronic Flora of South Australia, http://www.flora.sa.gov.au/cgi-bin/speciesfacts_display.cgi?genus=Crotalaria&species=eremaea
  4. Crotalaria eremaea ssp. eremaea, eFloraSA, Electronic Flora of South Australia, http://www.flora.sa.gov.au/cgi-bin/speciesfacts_display.cgi?genus=Crotalaria&species=eremaea&iname=eremaea
  5. Crotalaria eremaea ssp. strehlowii, eFloraSA, Electronic Flora of South Australia, http://www.flora.sa.gov.au/cgi-bin/speciesfacts_display.cgi?genus=Crotalaria&species=eremaea&iname=strehlowii

CrotalariaCrotalaria eremaea Green Bird Flower

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