Lesser bush sweet pea (Podalyria sericea)

loading
Podalyria sericea flowering
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Lesser bush sweet pea fact file

Lesser bush sweet pea description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumTracheophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderFabales
FamilyFabaceae
GenusPodalyria (1)

This small, evergreen shrub, found only in South Africa, has handsome, silky foliage, with silver-grey, glossy hairs bestowing the green leaves a silvery sheen (1) (2). When in flower, small, pink blooms, (only one centimetre across) (4), are borne at the point where a leaf attaches to the stem (1). The flowers, in delicate shades of pink and white (2), have a structure characteristic of the pea family (Fabaceae) to which this species belongs; each flower consists of a large back petal, two smaller side petals and two fused, lower petals which enclose the stamens and pistil (1).

Also known as
cape satin bush, silky podalyria, silver sweet bush pea.
Size
Height: up to 1 m (2)
Top

Lesser bush sweet pea biology

The lesser bush sweet pea flowers in the winter months of May and June (2), when the plant is pollinated by insects, such as carpenter bees (Xylocopa species), as they visit the small flowers. From about October until January, the plant bears swollen seed pods, which, when split, release several small seeds (1).

Top

Lesser bush sweet pea range

Endemic to the Cape Floristic Region, a ‘hot-spot’ of plant diversity in south-western South Africa. The lesser bush sweet pea is distributed from Saldanha, southwards to the Cape Peninsula (2)

Top

Lesser bush sweet pea habitat

The lesser bush sweet pea grows on sandstone and granite outcrops, below an elevation of 500 metres, and near the coast (2) (4).

Top

Lesser bush sweet pea status

Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the Interim Red Data List of South African Plant Taxa (3).

Top

Lesser bush sweet pea threats

The lesser bush sweet pea is believed to face threats from alien plant infestations, grazing and too frequent fires (1); events that impact the delicate balance of the natural habitat. Stands of invasive alien trees and shrubs are currently, (as of 2003), believed to cover around 2.6 percent of the Cape Floristic Region. This is predicted to increase to up to 32 percent within the next 20 years (5), which is likely to have a significant impact on many Cape Floristic Region endemic plants, including the lesser bush sweet pea.

Top

Lesser bush sweet pea conservation

Within the Cape Floristic Region there are a number of protected areas (6), and a number of conservation organisations are working to conserve the botanically rich habitat of the Cape Floristic Region (7) (8). Conservation actions include purchasing land to protect it from the threats of encroaching agriculture and urban development (8), the removal of alien plants, and the establishment of new protected areas (7), measures which should hopefully prevent this handsome silvery shrub becoming threatened with extinction.

Top

Find out more

For further information on the Cape Floristic Region and its conservation see:

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
Top

Glossary

Cape Floristic Region
An area occupying about 90,000 square kilometres in South Africa that contains an incredibly high diversity of plant species (around 8,700 species), of which 68 percent are found no where else.
Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Pistil
The female reproductive organ of a flowering plant; consisting of a stigma (the pollen receptor), style (a stalk connecting the stigma with the ovary below), and ovary (encloses the ovules).
Pollination
The transfer of pollen grains from the stamen (male part of a flower) to the stigma (female part of a flower) of a flowering plant. This usually leads to fertilisation, the development of seeds and, eventually, a new plant.
Stamens
The male reproductive organs of a flower; comprised of an anther (the pollen-producing organ) and a filament (stalk).
Top

References

  1. PlantZAfrica (February, 2008)
    http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/podalyrseri.htm
  2. Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J. (2000) Cape Plants: A Conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. National Botanical Institute of South Africa, Pretoria .
  3. Threatened Species Programme. (2007) Interim Red Data List of South African Plant Taxa. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, South Africa. Available at:
    http://www.sanbi.org/biodiversity/reddata.htm
  4. Paterson-Jones, C. and Manning, J. (2007) Ecoguide Fynbos. Briza Publications, Pretoria, South Africa.
  5. Rouget, M., Richardson, D.M., Cowling, R.M., Lloyd, J.W. and Lombard, A.T. (2003) Current patterns of habitat transformation and future threats to biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Biological Conservation, 112: 63 - 85.
  6. UNEP-WCMC: Cape Floral Protected Areas of South Africa (February, 2008)
    http://www.unep-wcmc.org/sites/wh/pdf/CAPE%20FLORAL%20REGION.pdf
  7. Conservation International: Biodiversity Hotspots (February, 2008)
    http://www.biodiversityhotspots.org/xp/hotspots/cape_floristic/Pages/default.aspx
  8. Fauna and Flora International (February, 2008)
    http://www.fauna-flora.org/fynbos.php
X
Close

Image credit

Podalyria sericea flowering  
Podalyria sericea flowering

© Colin Paterson-Jones / naturalvisions.co.uk

Natural Visions
6 Vicarage Hill
Farnham
Surrey
GU9 8HJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 716 700
Fax: +44 (0) 1252 727 464
info@naturalvisions.co.uk
http://www.naturalvisions.co.uk/

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Lesser bush sweet pea (Podalyria sericea) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

This species is featured in:

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog