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Sturt Desert Pea

What is the Sturt desert pea you ask? It's a little red flower found in dry arid places around Australia.

It looks like a long pea shape, some would say a mini canoe with a round dark spot in the middle. Sturt's desert pea is renowned for its unique red blossom with a narrow tip. This easily-recognized wildflower is the floral emblem of South Australia, but it is distributed across the arid interior regions of Australia. On a good year of weather, we may see the pea flowers pop up around Broken Hill, Menindee, Wilcannia and White Cliffs, and on a really good year of rain, by September - October you will see almost like a field of them spreading around their beautiful colour.

The recent rains of 2022 (la nina year) have resulted in lots of Stuart Peas in bloom all around the outback. Many are on nature strips all about Broken Hill, randomly popping up out of nowhere! Many have been spotted on the sides of the road to Tiboburra, about 100km out on the Silvercity Highway. Also, many large patches have been observed between Broken Hill and Menindee roads.

We see people stopping off at the sides of the road, and walking into some paddocks to capture a photo as its a usually a rare sight to be seen!

Sturt's desert pea, one of Australia's most well-known desert wildflowers, is distributed throughout Australia's inland arid regions, including far west New South Wales. Sturt's desert pea, one of the most recognisable Australian native plants, grows on red sandy soil, or loam, and bears bright red leaf-shaped flowers with a black 'boss' in the centre.

The genus Swainsona was named after the English botanist Isaac Swainson. The plant was given its common name in honour of Charles Sturt, a British explorer of Australia.

This native plant can generate stems up to 2 metres in length. It typically blooms from June to March, however, flowering is dependent on seasonal precipitation.

Another reason to come out towards Broken Hill NSW to see the Outback in bloom. It's a magnificent sight to see, and often the best time.

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