in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Growing Hardenbergia violacea: Coral-pea

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Form: A twinging vine.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen in regions without freezes.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 20' long.
Flowers: Purple, pink or white, 3/8" wide, pea-family shape, in elongated clusters, lacking fragrance.
Bloom: Winter to early spring when the days are short and temperatures range between 60-70°F. Above 70°F, flowers abort and blooming stops.
Fruit: Seed pod.
Leaves: Green, thick, lance-shaped, 2-4" long.
Stems: Woody, twining, thornless.
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*. Shallow.
Wildlife: The flowers attract bees. Ants normally distribute the seeds.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Australia.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9-11. Damaged by temperatures under 24°F.
Heat tolerant: It needs full open shade in temperatures above 90°F.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: This plant needs open shade all day, especially afternoon shade, such as on the north side of a house or under a covered patio, to survive temperatures over 90°F. Avoid surfaces that reflect heat. It needs full sun in the winter when it is blooming. In temperatures between 80-90°F, full sun with afternoon shade.
Water once established: Once or twice a month. It may require weekly water in the hottest months of the year.
Soil: Well drained, pH 5.6-7.5 (acidic to neutral). This plant is intolerant of saline and waterlogged soil. *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
Prune: After flowering, prune to make its growth more compact.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed, scarified, soaked in hot (not boiling) water, and sown when the temperature is 68°F.
Uses: Ornamental.


This tree is a member of the Legume family (Leguminosae). Local nurseries in the desert southwest often do not carry this plant because it dies of heat stress in full sun over 90°F.

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Latest update: February, 2019.

Hardenbergia violacea: Coral-pea - flowers

Hardenbergia violacea: Coral-pea