A new plant found in Canadian Forest

Last spring, while setting up photo-point monitoring sites in Canadian Forest, I noticed an unusual pea, without flowers, in a patch of remnant bush. It looked like a flat-pea but not Common Flat-pea Platylobium obtusangulum – the leaves were smaller and rounded. Research showed it was similar to Victorian Flat-pea Platylobium alternifera found in the Grampians.

In October 2014 I visited the site and collected a flowering specimen which I photographed and pressed. Still not sure of the correct identification. Roger Thomas found an article from Muelleria (a Victorian plant classification scientific journal) on the web about a revision of the genus Platylobium. The author of the article, Ian Thompson, had described several new species of Platylobium. I emailed photos of the Canadian plant to Ian and received a reply saying that the plant was Platylobium rotundum which has been given the common name Penny-leaf Flat-pea.

The prostrate plants were growing in a 20 m by 15 m area of Canadian Forest. The plants produce roots from nodes. Leaves are alternate along the stem. The flowers are mainly yellow with red markings, occurring 1 or 2 per axil on a pedicel 20-50 mm long. The calyx has sparse hairs. Few flowers produce seed. Occurs in open forest of central and central-west Victoria from Mt Buangor east to Blackwood.

IMG_6989bPenny-leaf Flat-pea  Platylobuim rotundum

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One response to “A new plant found in Canadian Forest

  1. Dr Ian Thompson was a local vet here in Numurkah some years ago. He took on further studies in Botany and was then employed at the National Herbarium. His research into Fabaceae led to his doctorate . He has been a member or supporter of Broken Creek FNC for many years and comes home occasionally , especially when pea species are flowering !

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