PURPLE CORAL PEA (Hardenbergia violacea)

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.

Camille Pissarro


The Purple Coral Pea (Hardenhergia violate) is in bloom.  I wonder if any person living in my road has even noticed.

….and how do I know…..I just stood at the window watching the plants and young saplings being blown nearly double by the strong winter wind and looked across the road between the 2 hedges.  There, nearly 35-40 feet long, is the faint hint of purple.

It’s a very long patch of intertwining vines.  One can’t really see much (in the image below), but I know it’s there and what the flower is.  It’s blowing a gale today and much too inclement to go outdoors to get a close-up shot (after sitting in a heated room most of the day), but you can get the idea by the image below.  Much too far away for a hand-held shot – even with a 150-500 mm heavy lens (which was the closest camera out of it’s bag).

…….and for  those who don’t know what this gorgeous intertwining vine looks like, here’s some images made over recent years.  Most of these were made at the end of the day, hence the rich blue-green tone of the leaves – the blue hour.

Hardenbergia violacea, Purple Coral Pea or Native Sarsaparilla, is a well-known climber with twining stems.

The leaves are glossy green, with prominent veins and up to ten centimetres long.  The flowers are pea-shaped, up to one centimetre across, purple, and violet and rarely pink or white. They are carried in large clusters from late winter to early spring.  Blooms are both profuse and conspicious. They are followed by pods that carry a number of black, hard-coated seeds.

H. violacea could be grown as a ground cover if it is denied access to other plants or objects to clamber over. (The vine across the road is starting to climb up one of the Cypress trees in the top hedge).

The Purple Coral Pea occurs in all eastern mainland states including Tasmania and South Australia.

15 thoughts on “PURPLE CORAL PEA (Hardenbergia violacea)

  1. Fab photos, Vicki. The Hardenbergia is so, well, purple! Gorgeous colour. It grows wild around here, but it’s too early for it to be blooming yet.

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    1. Even though it grows in the wild, landscapers and developers seem to make great use of it in housing estates and apartment blocks in this area. I suppose because it is very drought hardy and spreads quickly (requiring little financial outlay).

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  2. We have a deer pea vetch that’s purple, and we have a coral pea, too. And, yes — of course there are a couple of yellow peas, and another big purple pea, and…and…and… The family’s huge, and I haven’t yet found one I’d don’t like. This one’s a beauty. It’s a deeper purple than ours, but variety is the spice of life, as they say.

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    1. Apparently there is a mauve one as well as this purple one and depending on the light or time of day, I’m not sure that I know the difference, Linda. I like it in the blue hour, when the new leaves and flowers are at their brightest tone. The plant(s) across the road look even more purple this morning than over the weekend, so perhaps there are more buds opening (as I type).

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    1. They certainly are stunning, Pete, and to think they are natives that grow in the wild must be stunning as the vines spread so quickly and even up trees. Personally, I’ve never seen them in the wild though.

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