The Happy Wanderer, what a lovely name! This lovely delicate climbing purple pea flower can be found throughout the conservation area in springtime at Booyong. It is also commonly referred to as the Native sarsaparilla and scientifically named Hardenbergia violacea after Franziska Countess von Hardenberg.
It is a common and adaptable Australian climber and can be found in white, pink or purple in areas of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tassie and South Australia.
Hardenbergia violacea is well worth a spot in your garden, especially to hide a fence or structure, with its mass of flowers in winter spring. Whilst it is a vigorous climber and weaves itself around other flora it is not known to cause any damage.
The Happy Wanderer’s leaves are glossy and green and the pea shaped flowers consisting of four petals.
Propagation is easy from seed following pre-treatment to break the physical dormancy provided by the impervious seed coat. Pre-treatment can be carried out by abrasion or by the use of boiling water, the seed retains viability for many years and cuttings also strike well.
As a garden plant it is popular and hardy and adaptable to most soils, flowering better in sunny positions and will tolerate some frost. As with many other plants regular pruning will compact the growth of the plant. It requires little water once established and is best not to be moved once established.
The long, carrot-like root was reportedly used as a substitute for sarsparilla by Australian aboriginal Bushmen and the Australian aboriginal name for it is Waraburra.