Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Kennedia rubicunda (Schneev.) Vent.

Slender Vine
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Flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Leaves, flowers and immature fruits. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Ventenat, E.P. (1804) Jardin de la Malmaison 2: 104.

Common name

Pea, Dusky Coral; Pea, Red Coral; Dusky coral Pea; Pea, Red Kennedy; Red Coral Pea; Red Kennedy Pea


A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.


Leaflets about 6.5-10 x 2.5-4.5 cm, leaflet stalks about 0.3-2 cm long. Lateral leaflets oblique at the base. Stalk of the middle leaflet longer than those on the lateral leaflets. Upper and lower leaflet blade surfaces clothed in brown prostrate hairs. Stipules broadly triangular, about 3-5 mm long. Stipels about 2-2.5 mm long.


Pedicels about 15 mm long, densely clothed in pale brown hairs. Calyx tube about 5-7 mm long, outer surface clothed in pale brown hairs, calyx lobes about 3.5-5 mm long except for a pair of fused lobes which show a couple of short teeth at the apex. Petals clawed (stalked) about 30-40 mm long. Stamens 10, the filaments of nine stamens fused to form a tube about 30 mm long open on one side, filaments free only near the apex. One stamen free. Filaments attached to the backs of the anthers close to the base, alternately long and short. Ovary sessile or shortly stalked, about 10-12 mm long. Style about 20-25 mm long. Stigma small, terminal. Ovary densely clothed in white prostrate hairs. Ovules about 15.


Fruits about 9.5 x 1 cm, surface clothed in woolly hairs. Perianth persistent at the base. Seeds reniform, about 5 x 2 mm, testa greenish brown. Hilum white. Embryo about 4-4.5 mm long.


Cotyledons oblong, about 14 x 4 mm. Venation not particularly clear, the midrib alone visible on the upper surface while on the underside the cotyledons appear faintly 3-veined. Hypocotyl hairy. First leaves +/- orbicular, upper and lower surfaces clothed in hairs, petiole with a pulvinus at the apex. Stipules conspicuous. Third leaf trifoliolate. At the tenth leaf stage: middle leaflet blade +/- rhomboidal, lateral leaflets broadly elliptical. Middle leaflet blade larger than the lateral leaflets. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaflet blades clothed in spreading, whitish hairs. Stalk of the middle leaflet pulvinate and longer than the stalks on the lateral leaflets. Stipules hairy, lanceolate, about 3 mm long. Stipels present. Stems densely clothed in spreading to backward-pointing hairs. Seed germination time 22 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as Victoria. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 600-1200 m. Usually grows in open forest or wet sclerophyll forest, sometimes on rain forest margins.

Natural History & Notes

A light to moderate climber popular in cultivation. The large pea-shaped flowers are red.

Kennedia rubicunda (W.M.Curtis) Vent. var. rubicunda, A Census of New South Wales Plants : 109(1916). Glycine rubicunda Curtis, Botanical Magazine 8: 268(1795), Type: a native of New South Wales.
RFK Code
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