Hardenbergia violacea (Purple Coral Pea)

Hardenbergia violacea flowers are pea-shaped and grow in clusters, with colours ranging from light pink to deep purple.

Featured image: John Tann I Flickr (cropped) I CC BY 2.0

Hardenbergia violacea is an evergreen Australian native climbing plant that has twining stems.

It is a member of the Fabaceae family and is commonly known as Purple Coral Pea, Happy Wanderer, or Native Lilac.

Hardenbergia violacea appearance

Hardenbergia violacea | Native plants
Photo by KENPEI / Wikimedia (cropped) / CC BY-SA 3.0

Hardenbergia violacea flowers are pea-shaped and grow in clusters, with colours ranging from light pink to deep purple, and occasionally white.

In spring, they bloom and cover the top of the bush in a stunning display of colour. They’re also perfect for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

The leaves are glossy and around 10 cm long, with prominent veins running along their surface.

This plant is very versatile—you can grow it as an upright bush or let it trail over fences or walls. Either way, it’ll add beauty and joy to your garden or balcony space.

Location & growing conditions

Hardenbergia violacea is indigenous to the Adelaide region of South Australia.

This fast growing climbing plant is also found in VIC, NSW, TAS and QLD. It can be found on coastlines, coastal foot slopes, hills and plains.

Purple Coral Pea grows best in full sun to part shade in a range of soil types including clay, loam, and sand. It tolerates drought and lime and has low-moderate frost tolerance once established.

Hardenbergia violacea in your garden

Hardenbergia violacea flower 1 | Native plants
John Tann I Flickr (cropped) I CC BY 2.0

This hardy native Australian plant is a beautiful addition to any garden. It is a great choice for use as a habitat plant, ornamental decoration, or screen.

Plant it in a spot that receives full sun to partial shade. The soil should be moist but well draining.

Hardenbergia violacea should be mulched and watered well until it is established, after which, rainfall will usually be sufficient.

It is frost sensitive, especially when young, so is best planted in late winter or spring.

You can allow this native flowering plant to trail over fences or you can train it through other plants for a beautiful effect.

Hardenbergia violacea makes an excellent feature plant that attracts butterflies and caterpillars.

When mass planted, Hardenbergia violacea creates an eye-catching display of colour that can be a standout feature of your garden.

Caring for Hardenbergia violacea

Hardenbergia violacea is a hardy plant, but it does need some care to keep it looking its best.

Light pruning can be carried out after flowering to encourage bushy growth.

Continue application of mulch to retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing.

Fertilise with a balanced, slow-release native fertiliser in Spring. Like many natives, Hardenbergia is phosphorus-sensitive so look for a fertiliser where the phosphorus ratio is under 3%.

Hardenbergia can be attacked by scale, a small, round or oval-shaped insect that sucks sap from the plant.

It’s also best to avoid wetting the foliage to minimise the risk of fungal problems such as powdery mildew.

The benefits of growing native Australian plants

Growing native plants is the perfect way to add a touch of Australia to your backyard.

Australian native gardens are easier to maintain than those with exotic species, plus they provide food and shelter for local wildlife and help support our environment.

If you’re looking for inspiration to get started with natives, here are some reasons why growing native plants can be beneficial:

Low maintenance and easy to grow

Native plants are naturally suited to the local climate and soil, meaning they require less watering and fertiliser.

They’re also generally less fussy about conditions, so you don’t need to spend hours giving them extra TLC each weekend.

Native plants are often more resistant to pests and diseases than exotic varieties, which means you’re less likely to spend time and money dealing with these types of problems.

Provide habitat and food for local wildlife

Native plants provide food, shelter and nesting areas for a huge range of local wildlife.

They provide a home for native birds, with their fruits and seeds being an important source of food.

For example, the seeds on a banksia will attract seed-eating birds like the cockatoo, while the nectar will attract birds like the honeyeater or wattle bird.

Native bees also benefit from native plants because they prefer the nectar from native flowers as opposed to exotic varieties.

Require less water and are drought tolerant

Native plants are well suited to their local environment. They’re typically adapted to the climate, soil, and other conditions of a particular region.

Because they’re so well-adapted to their surroundings, they usually require little or no additional water or fertiliser.

In Australia, this means our native plants are more likely than non-natives to survive in dry climates and hot temperatures.

They are therefore also more resistant to challenging conditions like drought than most non-native plant species.

Sustainable and support a healthy environment

If you want to grow a sustainable garden that preserves natural biodiversity, native plants are the best option.

Unlike exotic species, native plants require very little in the way of fertilisers and pesticides.

When added to our lawn or garden, these chemicals run into our waterways and can cause imbalances in the soil.

If you want to minimise the number of chemicals you spray on your garden, natives are the way to go.

Beautiful bright flowers

Australia’s native flowers are unique, beautiful, and come in a range of colours, shapes and sizes.

From big, bold flowers with striking colour combinations to tiny delicate blooms, native plants are really special.

They can be fragrant too. Some species have an intoxicating scent that attracts birds, bees, butterflies, and other insects.


Is Hardenbergia violacea fast growing?

Yes, Hardenbergia violacea is a fast-growing plant. It grows well in full sun or part shade.

Is Hardenbergia Hardy?

Hardenbergia is fairly hardy and can grow in a wide range of conditions. This Australian native has good drought tolerance, although it does need water during dry periods. It doesn’t tolerate frost well.

Does Hardenbergia need a trellis?

No, Hardenbergia doesn’t need a trellis. It can grow as a trailing vine or over a fence or wall, but it will also grow well as a groundcover shrub in full sun.


Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.


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