Fabulous Faboideae flaunts its flora flirtaciously
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Faboideae is a member of the huge Pea Family.
Typical fab-flowers have five brightly coloured petals, forming butterfly-shaped corollas.
- One upper petal called the standard (or banner)
- two side wings
- and a protective keel (two bottom petals fused at the apex).
Here's how the tiny fab-flower works...
A heavy, nectar-hunting bee lands on a wing petal, which depresses on the keel.
The keel splits open exposing the stigma and ten stamens to the underside of the insect.
In Australia, there are about 140 genera and 1100 species in the Fab-family.
700 of these species are the distinct yellow, orange and red
from the aussie tribes Bossiaeeae and Mirbelieae.
Named after Captain Charles Sturt to commemorate his explorations of inland Australia.
Sturt's Desert Pea
A creeping vine that runs along the ground and the most spectacular of all desert flowers.
The floral emblem of South Australia.
The vine of this plant can be up to two metres long.
Used by Aborigines as string and rope, to bind and sew.
Sweet nectar was sucked from the flowers.
Many species of the Fab-family produce fluoride and are called 'Poison Peas'.
eg. York Road Poison, Champion Bay Poison.
Seeds and leaves were eaten by native marsupials who developed a tolerance to the toxin, as well as storing large amounts of excess flouride in their bones.
Farmer's dog eats marsupial - dog and marsupial dies.