You may have noticed the bright red round bushes that are currently flowering in the Midwest along our coastlines. Known commonly as Flame bushes, Templetonia retusa is a pea flower that is hard to miss at this time of year.
Templetonia is an Australian genus consisting over eight species name after John Templeton, a botanist from the 18th century.
It is an upright shrub that grows up to two metres high. The leaves are grey-green, oblong to wedge-shaped and usually have a blunt, indented tip. The bright red pea flowers are 25 to 40 mm long and when in flower, this plant transforms into a stunning display of bright red, densely packed blooms.
Templetonia retusa is a widespread species and can be found along the coast from Shark Bay in Western Australia all the way to Kangaroo Island in South Australia. It favours areas heavy in limestone, calcareous sands and on occasion is found further inland on gravels and clay soils.
The Flame Bush has been cultivated for use in urban gardens for many years. It is a durable species and is easy to propagate from seed.
The prolific flowers are a great food source for butterflies, honey eaters and other Nectivorous bird species.