Davelatif.JPG (32279 bytes)Daviesia latifolia: Australia is rich in native members of the Fabaceae (Pea) family. In spring the Australian bush lights up with a multitude of yellow and brown pea flowers. Because of their flower colour these plants are collectively known as “eggs and bacon”. Unfortunately very few native peas are available from nurseries. Hardenbergia violacea is one exception. Perhaps this paucity of species may be due to difficulty in seed collection. Seeds are released from pods as soon as they mature. Our research indicates that many species propagate readily from cuttings. Hopefully more native peas will become available commercially in the future.
After that lengthy preamble we will turn to the pea under discussion. We have had a long association with Daviesia latifolia commonly known as the Hop Bitter-pea. In our previous garden the Hop Bitter-pea occurred naturally, at Yallaroo it is regenerating after the removal of sheep and east of Armidale the species is the dominant under story shrub in roadside bushland.
Daviesia latifolia is a medium upright shrub with large leathery leaves and yellow and brown flowers produced in dense racemes in spring. One author describes the species as having little horticultural value whilst another feels that is a decorative shrubby native. We agree with the latter view and feel that Daviesia latifolia has undeveloped horticultural potential.
The bitter tasting leaves are said to have medicinal properties. They have been used as a substitute for hops. The flowers have an elusive perfume. A useful plant for informal hedges or native hedgerows.
Daviesia latifolia is propagated from seeds or cuttings.