Common name: Scarlet Runner or Running Postman
Family: FABACEAE (730 Genera)
Origin of Scientific Name
Kennedia – after John Kennedy (1759-1842), nurseryman at Hammersmith, London; supplied plants to Empress Josephine.
prostrata – Latin prostratus = thrown to the ground, prostrate, lying along the ground.
Kennedia prostrata is a prostrate or twining ground cover growing to approximately 2.5 metres in diameter. The leaves are grey-green and divided into three leaflets, a characteristic of the genus. The leaflets are 5-25 mm in diameter with undulating margins.
The typically pea-shaped flower is dark red, up to 30 mm, with a yellow/bronze/orange throat, followed by dark purple, almost black, ‘pea pods’ to 50 mm.
In Western Australia, from Denham on the central west coast to just east of Esperance on the south coast. Refer to the distribution map for this species via the Department of Environment and Conservation's FloraBase online herbarium.
April to November
The Scarlet Runner is easily propagated from seed pre-treated by soaking in boiled (not boiling) water for one to two minutes and seems to do better germinating in a cool room.
Plants prefer sunny or semi-shaded position in well watered, but free-draining soil. If severely affected by drought, it may die back and re-shoot from root stock when conditions improve.
It can also be propagated from firm cuttings from current season’s growth.
View This Plant in Kings Park and Botanic Garden
- Bed on west side of water garden, next to bottom pond.
- Beds between Bali Memorial and State War Memorial.
- Transition bed adjacent to Rotunda 2 and Tuart Lawn.
To help locate these sites, you may download the Western Australian Botanic Garden brochure via our brochures page.