Nature conservation

Threatened species

Matted Bush-pea - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Pultenaea pedunculata
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 23 Jul 1999
Profile last updated: 30 Aug 2021


The Matted Bush-pea is a shrub that forms carpets 1 m or more wide, having branches that may be several metres long but usually less than 20cm off the ground. The stems are appressed-pubescent with whitish hairs. Its small leaves are flat and elliptical, to 11 mm long and 2 mm wide, with a darker upper surface, a recurved point at the tip and stipules 2 to 3 mm long. The pea-shaped flowers are small (4-8mm long), and mostly yellow in NSW, though apricot and orange flowered populations are also known. The flowers near the ends of the branches, held singly on long stalks (often to 20 mm long), with linear to linear-ovate, hairless bracteoles and a sparsely hairy calyx 3-5mm long with acuminate lobes. The fruit is 5-7mm long, globular to egg-shaped.


Matted Bush-pea is widespread in Victoria, Tasmania, and south-eastern South Australia. In NSW however, it is represented by just three disjunct populations, in the Cumberland Plains in Sydney, the coast between Tathra and Bermagui and the Windellama area south of Goulburn (where it is locally abundant).
the Cumberland Plain occurrences were more widespread (Yennora, Canley Vale and Cabramatta were lost to development) and is now found at Villawood and Prestons, and north-west of Appin between the Nepean River and Devines Tunnel number 2 (Upper Sydney Water Supply Canal).

Habitat and ecology

  • The Matted Bush-pea occurs in a range of habitats. NSW populations are generally among woodland vegetation but plants have also been found on road batters and coastal cliffs. It is largely confined to loamy soils in dry gullies in populations in the Windellama area.
  • The ability of stems to creep and root from the nodes has made this species a very good coloniser of bare ground in many parts of its range.
  • Flowers appear in spring (August to December), with fruit maturing from October to January but sometimes persistent on the plant until April-May. Like other Pultenaea species, the seeds have an aril and are likely to be dispersed by ants. Few young plants have been seen (no seedlings) and the suggestion is that there will be germination after disturbance as well as after fire, although the fire response is unknown.
  • In the Cumberland Plain the species favours sites in clay or sandy-clay soils (Blacktown Soil Landscape) on Wianamatta Shale-derived soils, usually close to patches of Tertiary Alluvium (Liverpool area) or at or near the Shale-Sandstone interface (Appin). All sites have a lateritic influence with ironstone gravel (nodules) present.
  • In the Liverpool - Fairfield area the majority of occurrences are in lower-lying areas and often close to creek lines. Soils are moderately to poorly drained. By contrast, the Appin sites are on a plateau above the Nepean River, on soils that are not usually poorly drained.
  • On the Cumberland Plain the species is recorded from Cumberland Plain Woodlands, the shale-soil form of Shale Sandstone Transition Forests and Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest.
  • Associated species in the Sydney area include include Eucalyptus moluccana, E. fibrosa, E. crebra, E. longifolia and Melaleuca decora. Understorey species include Bursaria spinosa, Ozothamnus diosmifolius, Acacia parramattensis, A. falcata, Indigofera australis, Dillwynia sieberi, Olearia viscidula, Kunzea ambigua, Opercularia diphylla, Astroloma humifusum, Glycine tabacina, Hardenbergia violacea, Wahlenbergia gracilis, Aristida vagans, Gahnia aspera, Lomandra filiformis, Cheilanthes sieberi and Themeda australis. At Villawood it has been recorded growing in the vicinity of the threatened species Acacia pubescens.
  • Southern Tablelands populations are at 560-620m ASL and on friable loam soils underlain by Tertiary basalt and Quaternary sediments. While in creek lines and broad valleys, the soils are not usually waterlogged. The species also occurs in gravelly road batters.
  • In the Windellama area on the Southern Tablelands, P. pedunculata generally grows in creek lines within grassy woodland dominated by Eucalyptus mannifera. E. dives and E. gregsoniana are also often present. A few populations occur within E. rossii - E. macrorhycha woodland. The threatened species Bossiaea oligosperma, Dillwynia glaucula and E. recurva occur in the vicinity.
  • On the far south coast the species favours sandy soils on headlands and slopes immediately above the beach. It can also occur in the rock crevices above the shoreline.
  • South Coast populations have been recorded in shrubland adjacent to an ocean beach, heathland on a headland, rocky outcrops beside the sea (which are devoid of vegetation apart from scattered plants of P. pedunculata) and coastal woodland of Eucalyptus botryoides, E. agglomerata and Allocasuarina litoralis.
  • Population size is variable and often dependent on the disturbance history (including weeds, fire, earthworks and development). The Prestons and Villawood populations are small (fewer than 10 plants each) and quite isolated. The Appin population is much larger (1000-1500 plants). The Southern Tablelands population is difficult to adequately assess as individual plants are not clearly separated. Several thousand plants are estimated in at least 12 populations, although some roadside populations are only of a few plants each. Of the six South Coast populations, one has not been relocated in recent times. Total count of plants in these populations is about 100.
  • The prostrate nature of the species makes it sensitive to overshadowing by taller plants and tussock grasses. There is uncertainty about whether the species is capable of resprouting from the base following disturbance.

Regional distribution and habitat

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Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
OceanTwofold Shelf Known None
Other StateSA Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Known Within 5 km of coast
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known Between Boro and Marulan
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None