Claire wrote today’s accompaniment to the photograph:
Thank you to Brent Miller (foliosus@Flickr) of Portland, Oregon, USA for this photograph of Daviesia genistifolia, or broom bitter-pea. The image was submitted via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool.
Brent notes that his September photograph of Daviesia genistifolia was taken in Karatta, Australia. A native to continental southeastern Australia from southern Queensland to South Australia, this small, shrubby species grows in volcanic and sedimentary rocky areas. This exotic-looking species with its odd “foliage” and brightly-coloured flowers is an important understorey feature, providing nectar and shelter to birds and insects. Daviesia genistifolia, as you may have noticed, does not have true leaves. Instead, the stem and the thorn-like stem outgrowths (phyllodes) are photosynthetic.
Species of Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae) have two main types of fruit. Daviesia genistifolia has the common type: a legume or pod which dehisces and splits along a single seam. However, some tribes within the family, such as the Hedysareae, most often utilize loments–a fruit that splits into one seeded segments from the tip to the base.
Daviesia, although a genus native to Australia, is actually named for an 18th century Welsh botanist, Hugh Davies. In 1790, Davies became a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He contributed much to the botanical knowledge of the British Isles, including a comprehensive work published in 1813, Welsh Botanology.