Eutaxia obovata

Eggs and Bacon Plant

Family: Fabaceae subfam. Faboideae

A shrub to about 1 m tall which grows only in moist karri forests in S-W Western Australia.

Leaves are green-blue in colour, lanceolate to elliptic to 2 cm, with a decussate arrangement (each following pair of leaves comes off the stem at right angles to the preceding and proceeding pair).

Flowers of all species in this subfamily are all pea-shaped (papilionate). In this species, they are produced solitarily or in small groups in leaf axils and are yellow with a red keel; appearing is spring, about 1 cm long and wide.

The fruit is a pod. Seed pods are ovoid, flattened or turgid; seeds with an small elaisome (fat body) attached.

In the garden

This was a popular plant in the 1970s and 1980s when growing native plants took off on the East coast of Australia. During those times the author and many other tried to grow plants for Western Australia and Eutaxia obovata was one such plant. While classified as hardy, a lot of growers were not successful and as a result fell out of favour, it is only recently that it has been available again and it is well worth growing, in dappled well drained soil which is moist but not wet.

Cultivated plants usually range between 0.75 and 1 metre high, and slightly less in width.

Flowers are yellow with a red keel and appear in Spring and are long lasting and lightly fragrant and are attractive to bees and butterflies.

Propagation

Plants may be propagated from cuttings or scarified seed.

Other information

Regenerates from seed bank after fire.

Eutaxia – Greek (ευταξία) meaning orderly or to put in order (orderliness). It is not known here why this name is applied. It may refer to the uniform structured order of the leaves of some species.
obovata – is derived from the Latin word ovatus meaning “egg-shaped” with the prefix ob – meaning “opposite”, hence “reverse egg-shaped”, referring to the shape of the leaves (widest at the top)

Not considered threatened in the wild.

https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/eutaxia-obovata-egg-and-bacon-plant/
https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=gn&name=Eutaxia
https://www.australianplants.com/plants.aspx?id=1751

By Jeff Howes