Hardenbergia comptoniana

Now that Cockies Tongues is flowering, Hardenbergia comptoniana follows close behind and paints the winter bushland purple. I got home from camping in Cue to find the Hardenbergia that climbs up my garden fence covered in blooms and bees a-buzzing with nectar drinking.

Hardenbergia comptoniana flowers in my garden

Scientific name Hardenbergia comptoniana

Common name Native Wisteria

Flower July – October

Hardenbergia comptoniana flowers

Seed pod cylindrical hard black pod. [1] On hot days the pod will open with an audible pop and the seeds are flung away from the plant.

open hardenbergia seed pod

Associated wildlife insects feed on the nectar

honey bee feeding on nectar

Each seed has a white, oily aril attached. [2] This attracts ants [1] and they take seeds into the ant nest for storage and later eating. Some seeds will germinate underground and grow into new plants. The ant in this photo (below) is walking past Hemiandra leaves to the ant nest with its prize.

ant with seed

Growth habit climbing shrub

Hardenbergia will grow up anything

Cultivation Easy to grow from seed after soaking in almost boiling water to soften the hard seed coat. [3]

Will grow up a fence as a screening plant.

Hardenbergia growing on my fence

This photo (above) was taken 4 years ago when you could still see some of the lattice I trained it up (bottom right). Hardenbergia is extremely vigorous and needs pruning a few times a year. The winter flowering period is spectacular, but the branches die back somewhat during summer. It has leaves year round, but it doesn’t look as pretty during this time. In the summer months I prune off dead branches and it starts growing vigorously again as temperatures cool.

Florabase record http://florabase.com/browse/profile/3961


  1. Rippey & Rowland (1995) Plants of the Perth Coast and Islands. Perth: UWA Press
  2. Dixon, Kingsley (2011) Coastal Plants: A guide to the identification and restoration of plants of the Perth region. Collingwood, Vic: CSIRO Publishing
  3. Wrigley & Fagg (1998) Australian Native Plants: Propagation, Cultivation and use in Landscaping (4th ed.) Sydney: Reed New Holland


Hardenbergia trailing over Acacia

Acacia and Hardenbergia

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