|Hand-coloured engraving by James Sowerby from A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland|
The species is an erect or straggling shrub with wiry stems which usually grows to a height of between 1 and 2 metres. The leaves are opposite with very short, almost unnoticeable petioles. The leaf surface has a pronounced reticulation of veins on the surface and is dark green above and lighter below. The leaf size ranges from 2 to 5 cm in length and 1 to 2.3 cm in width.
The flowers appear in spring, between September and November in their native range. These are orange-yellow with a red centre, with red markings in the centre, on the tip of the keel and on the back of the standard. and are supported by a long stalk which is covered by hairs and arises from the leaf axil. The pods which follow are flat, glabrous or hairy and about 2 to 4 cm in length.
Following a taxonomic review of the genus Platylobium in 2011, plants in Victoria formerly known by this name have been reclassified as P. infecundum, P. montanum, P. parviflorum, P. reflexum or P. rotundum. Plants in Tasmania previously known as P. formosum subsp. parviflorum have been reclassified as Platylobium parviflorum.
- "New South Wales Flora Online: Platylobium formosum". Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia.
- Costermans, L. (1981). Native Trees and Shrubs of South-eastern Australia. Australia: Rigby. ISBN 072701403X.
- Thompson, I.R. (2011). "A revision of Platylobium (Fabaceae: Bossiaeeae)" (PDF). Muelleria. 29 (2): 155–59. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- Baker, M.L.; de Salas. M.F. "A Census of the Vascular Plants of Tasmania - 2012 edition" (PDF). p. 36. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
- "Platylobium formosum". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government, Canberra. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
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