Jacksonia is a genus of about 40 species all of which occur naturally only in Australia. They are found in all Australian states except South Australia. Most are found in Western Australia.
Jacksonia scoparia is probably the best known species. It is a small tree or large shrub to 3-4 metres high, with an open and often weeping habit of growth and greyish foliage. The leaves are usually usually reduced to scales although true leaves will sometimes be seen on young plants or on regrowth after damage to the plant.
The typical “pea” flowers consist of 4 petals; the “standard”, the “keel” and two “wings”, as shown in the diagram. The flowers are yellow and occur in late spring and summer in racemes from the upper branches.
J.scoparia has been in cultivation for many years but is not widely grown in gardens. It has proven to be a hardy and adaptable species for a range of well drained soils in full sun or partial shade. It is certainly a plant worthy of much wider cultivation.
Propagation is relatively easy from seed following pre-treatment with boiling water (similar to other members of the pea family). Cuttings also strike reasonably readily.
Photo: Brian Walters