Family : Fabaceae
Trefoil Rattlepod is a highly variable species, with eight forms recognised across northern Australia. Locally, it is usually seen on sandy beach ridges as a compact small shrub, usually measuring only 0.8 metres high. The leaves are small (5 – 30mm long), in groups of three and spread evenly along multiple erect branches. The flowers are yellow, pea-shaped and borne in clusters at the ends of branches. During the peak flowering period of December to February, the plants often appear as a solid mass of bright yellow flowers. Flowers are followed by a spherical brown dry capsules, which split at maturity to release small kidney-shaped seeds.
Trefoil Rattlepod is an extremely hardy and attractive shrub well suited to sandy soils exposed to sea breezes. As a legume, it fixes valuable nitrogen into sandy soils that are often low in nutrients. The flowers are particularly attractive to insects, including bees, which in turn attract insectivorous birds. Unlike some other species of rattlepod, the Trefoil Rattlepod is not regarded as toxic to grazing stock.
|Flowers||December to February|
|Fruit||March to May|
|Coastal Zone||Hind Dune|
|Fauna Habitat||Birds, Bees and Insects|
|Soils||Well Drained Soils|
|Amount of Sun||Full Sun|
|Amount of Water||Moderately Wet Areas|
|Salt Tolerance||Moderately Tolerant|
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