Hovea linearis - Common Hovea

Submitted by peter on Thu, 08/08/2019 - 09:28

Hovea is a group of pea flowers, usually purple, and named after Anton Pantaleon Hove who collected plants for Joseph Banks and William Aiton at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Hovea is native to Australia and grows everywhere there is a steady supply of water, which is less than 10% of Australia.

The group is a Genus., which is a group within a Tribe within a Family. The family is Fabaceae, the legume, pea, and bean family. The family includes grasses to feed animals, trees for wood, carob, and peanuts.

Hovea linearis is the Common Hovea, a purple/white flower produced in spring all along the east coast and south east coast of Australia. The petals can be anywhere from a medium purple through to white. The flower has a yellow to green patch in the middle. The patch has a dark purple border then you get the main colour.

There are five petals. The top one is big and called the banner or standard and is the bit you see from a distance. Below the banner, you find two small petals sticking out like wings or curled up ready to unfurl. At the bottom, there is another part called the keel and formed from to fused petals. The keel may be brown or green or hidden at different stages of development.

Linearis means linear and describes the long straight leaves. Without the flowers or the seed pods, the plant is boring and similar to hundreds of other shrubs with similar leaves and a similar size.