Kennedia prostrata

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Running postman
Kennedia prostrata 01 gnangarra.JPG
Kennedia prostrata in Drummond Nature Reserve.
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Kennedia
K. prostrata
Binomial name
Kennedia prostrata
Occurrence data from AVH
    • Caulinia prostrata (R.Br.) F.Muell.
    • Kennedia marryatae Lindl.
    • Kennedia marryatiana Benth. nom. illeg., nom. superfl.
    • Kennedia marryattae Lindl. orth. var.
    • Kennedia prostrata f. major (DC.) Siebert & Voss
    • Kennedia prostrata R.Br. f. prostrata
    • Kennedia prostrata var. major DC.
    • Kennedia prostrata var. minor G.Don
    • Kennedia prostrata R.Br. var. prostrata
    • Kennedia stipularis Desv.
    • Kennedya marryattae Benth. orth. var.
    • Kennedya marryattiana Benth. orth. var.
    • Kennedya prostrata F.Muell. orth. var.
    • Kennedya prostrata f. major Siebert & Voss orth. var.
    • Kennedya prostrata var. alba Guilf. nom. inval., nom. nud.
    • Kennedya prostrata var. major DC. orth. var.
    • Kennedya prostrata var. minor G.Don orth. var.

Kennedia prostrata, commonly known as running postman, scarlet coral pea[2] or scarlet runner[3] is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae and is endemic to Australia. It is a prostrate or twining shrub with trifoliate leaves and usually red flowers.


Kennedia prostrata is a prostrate or twining shrub with wiry stems up to 2 m (6 ft 7 in) long and that are hairy when young. The leaves are on a petiole 5–50 mm (0.20–1.97 in) long with more or less round leaflets 6–35 mm (0.24–1.38 in) long and wide with wavy edges, the end leaflet on a petiolule 2–9 mm (0.079–0.354 in) long but the side leaflets more or less sessile. There is a heart-shaped stipule about 5 mm (0.20 in) long at the base of the petiole. The flowers are borne singly or in pairs on a peduncle 5–30 mm (0.20–1.18 in) long with bracts 2–5 mm (0.079–0.197 in) long at the base, the individual flowers on pedicels 5–25 mm (0.20–0.98 in) long. The five sepals are hairy, 6–8 mm (0.24–0.31 in) long, the petals usually scarlet, rarely white. The standard petal is 13–23 mm (0.51–0.91 in) long, the wings 12–18 mm (0.47–0.71 in) long and the keel 12–22 mm (0.47–0.87 in) long. Flowering occurs from April to November and the fruit is a flattened cylindrical pod 20–50 mm (0.79–1.97 in) long.[2][3][4][5][6]


Kennedia prostrata was first formally described by Robert Brown in 1812 in Hortus Kewensis.[7][8] The specific epithet (prostrata) means "prostrate".[9]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Running postman occurs in all Australian states except Queensland and the Northern Territroy and grows in a variety of habitats, often on coastal sand dunes and on rock outcrops.[1][2][3][5]

Use in horticulture[edit]

The species is naturally adapted to sandy or lighter soils and prefers a sunny position. A widely cultivated species, it grows in temperate to subtropical areas and is hardy in most situations.[6][10]


  1. ^ a b c "Kennedia prostrata". Australian Plant Census. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Kennedia prostrata". PlantNET - New South Wales Flora Online. Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney Australia. Retrieved 2008-09-24.
  3. ^ a b c "Kennedia prostrata". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
  4. ^ Jeanes, Jeff A. "Kennedia prostrata". Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Kennedia prostrata". State Herbarium of South Australia. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  6. ^ a b Bodkin, Frances (1991). Encyclopaedia Botanica. Australia: Cornstalk Publishing. ISBN 978-0207150647.
  7. ^ "Kennedia prostrata". APNI. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  8. ^ Brown, R. 1812. Hortus Kewensis 4:299 Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  9. ^ Sharr, Francis Aubi; George, Alex (2019). Western Australian Plant Names and Their Meanings (3rd ed.). Kardinya, WA: Four Gables Press. p. 284. ISBN 9780958034180.
  10. ^ "Kennedia prostrata". Australian Native Plants Society (Australia). Retrieved 25 October 2021.

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