Templetonia retusa: is a member of the Fabaceae (Pea) family. The common name is Cockie’s Tongue. This name may have been given by someone with some ornithological knowledge and a vivid imagination.
Templetonia retusa is rounded, spreading shrub that may reach a height of two metres. The leaves are almost rectangular and grey-green in colour. The flowers are large, scarlet and pea-shaped. There is also a yellow-flowered form. The upper petal (the standard) is bent back or reflexed. Winter to early spring is the flowering period. Eastern Spinebills visit the blooms.
Templetonia retusa has proved to be a hardy, free-flowering shrub. Our specimen has survived, thrived and bloomed bounteously through a harsh winter.
“Cockie’s Tongue” is an eye-catching plant with attractive foliage and large, colourful flowers. The species is a native of South Australia and Western Australia. Some years ago we visited Western Australia and observed the species in many areas of bushland.
Light pruning, after flowering, is appreciated.
Propagate from seed and cuttings. Seed requires treatment, in boiling water, before sowing.