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Natural populations

Daviesia genistifolia is widespread in tall shrubland and open woodland vegetation communities from southern Queensland to South Australia. The shrub is found particularly on steep rocky hillsides, on sedimentary, volcanic or metamorphic based rock including those derived from sandstone and serpentine geology. It is tolerant of frost and moderate drought conditions and grows in sandy loams, loams, clay loams and light clay soil types.

Flowering and seeds

Flowering in spring and fruiting in early summer. Green pods turn brown at maturity, with one or more pea-like seeds in each. Pods will split and disperse seeds on hot days in December–January. A pre-treatment of chipping or scarifying the seed coat is required as hard-seeded; high germination percentage once the seed coat is broken, at an optimum temperature of 20°C [90]. Another method for breaking the seed coat is to place seeds in a cloth bag and immerse in near boiling water for 30 seconds before quickly cooling in cold water [93].

Cultivation and uses

Daviesias are a source of nectar and pollen for birds and insects and can act as nesting sites for small birds [93], particularly when many are growing together in a moderately dense shrubby layer.

Key descriptors:

Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 250-2000 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 8-21 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 24-37 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: -1-10 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 10-1300 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant
Fire: killed by damaging fire does not regenerate foliage
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, light to medium clay (35-50% clay) or loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5)
Soil depth: skeletal to shallow (less than 30 cm)
Drainage:  well-drained
Salinity: non-saline
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen shrub less than 2 m tall
Longevity: short-lived less than 15 years
Growth rate: fast
Root system: shallow and spreading
Shade tolerance: grows best in full sunlight
Potentially undesirable attributes
Fire sensitivity: killed by severe fires (seeder)

References

[90] Flynn S, Turner RM, Dickie JB (2004) Seed Information Database (Release 7.0, October 2006). (Online database) http://www.kew.org/data/sid/ (Accessed: July 2007).

[93] Bonney N (2003) What Seed Is That? A guide to the identification, collection, germination and establishment of native plant species for central southern Australian landscapes. Neville Bonney, Tantanoola.

Internet links

PlantNet NSW Flora Online – species description & distribution: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Daviesia~genistifolia

South Australia Flora Online – species description & distribution: http://www.flora.sa.gov.au/cgi-bin/texhtml.cgi?form=speciesfacts&family=Leguminosae&genus=Daviesia&species=genistifolia

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