The Green Birdflower is a perennial plant native to Australia that has remarkable, green-yellow, bird-shaped flowers. The flowers are pea-like but are shaped in such a way that the flowers resemble a bird in flight. Leaves are gray-green with long hairs. Fruits are pods with several seeds. The pods are inflated and the small seeds rattle in the dry pods so they have the common name of rattlebox. It is a legume. Grows in deserts, coastlands and sand dunes. It likes full sun and well-drained soil. Drought tolerant. It is a Crotalaria and is related to more common and widespread crotalarias like the showy rattlebox, which is a common but spectacular flowering weed in the southeastern United States and in much of the world’s tropics and subtropics. Hardy in zones 10-11. It can be grown outdoors in warm regions and as a container plant in temperate regions.
Growing Instructions for the Green Birdflower
The seeds have a hard seed coat that has to be treated, or scarified, in order for water to enter the seeds so that they can sprout. 1. Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat. The seeds can be sanded with sandpaper, a nail file or an emery board. 2. Soak the seeds in water for several hours. 3. It likes well-drained soil. Put a mixture of potting soil and sand or perlite into a pot with drainage holes in the base. 4. Sow the seeds 2-3 mm deep. 5. Water the seeds. The seeds germinate in 10-14 days at 65-72 degrees F. 6. When the plants are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.