Hardenbergia Species, Australian Sarsparilla, False Sarsaparilla, Purple Coral Pea, Lilac Vine

Hardenbergia violacea

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hardenbergia (hard-en-BERG-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: violacea (vy-oh-LAH-see-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Hardenbergia monophylla
Synonym:Kennedia monophylla


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Buckeye, Arizona

Cave Creek, Arizona

Chandler, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona

Castro Valley, California

Citrus Heights, California

Crockett, California

Elk Grove, California

Eureka, California

Fallbrook, California(5 reports)

Long Beach, California

Martinez, California

Mission Viejo, California

Morgan Hill, California

Oak View, California

Oakland, California

Rosedale, California

San Anselmo, California

San Francisco, California

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Cruz, California

Santa Rosa, California

Santee, California

Solvang, California

West Sacramento, California

Fort Myers, Florida

Polk City, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Imperial, Missouri

Boulder City, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada

San Antonio, Texas

Sour Lake, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 22, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Evergreen xeric twining climber with very showy flower display in late winter/earliest spring. This is suitable for xeriscaping.

Taprooted, and not generally inclined to spread by root or seed. It can strangle and smother neighbors, and mounds on top of itself, so it may need frequent pruning/shearing if not well sited. Can easily grow to 20' tall or more.

Needs temperatures of about 40F to set flower buds.

Can be prone to scale and whitefly.

Depending on cultivar, flowers may be mauve/violet, pink, or white. In Australia, shrubby/nonvining cultivars have been developed.

'Happy Wanderer' is the name of a cultivar, though sometimes incorrectly used for the species.


On Jan 28, 2013, starfarmer from Ann Arbor, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

(copied over from another location) Australian Lilac Vine (Hardenbergia violacea) and its cultivars are evergreen, with tough almost sandpapery leaves. It is a rampant grower both in sun and shade, and will tend to do the "honeysuckle thing", i.e. grow toward the top of whatever is supporting it, leaving naked stems below and layering on top of itself year after year; I've grown annual vines beneath it on a chainlink fence with reasonable results. It will bloom in both sun and shade (in the species, little miniature purple wisteria clusters, with a lime green spot on individual flowers), but blooms more heavily in the sun.

One of the best things about this vine is its ridiculously low water requirements, along with its lack of need for fertilization. It will grow with as li... read more


On Dec 27, 2009, gophersnake from Oakland, CA wrote:

First plant: planted 1993 by a fence under a large Eucalyptus. Grew vigorously. By 2004 had taken over the fence and was climbing 10 feet up the Eucalyptus trunk. Didn't seem to mind the shade or the Eucalyptus debris although a Solanum laxum planted nearby at the same time had perished. Got removed (along with the fence) in 2007 when the Eucalyptus was cut down.

Second plant: planted July 2008 in same spot, this time with much more sun. Bloomed in February 2009, seemed to do well until September, then turned brown and died.

Third plant: just planted in the same spot. If it dies off like the second, I'll suspect the remains of the Eucalyptus -- or perhaps something applied to them to keep them from resprouting. Whatever it is, I'm hoping it'll diminish in tim... read more


On Aug 10, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

We bought one of these years ago and loved its enchanting blossoms year to year. Unfortunately, we had to remove it when we moved the fence it was clinging to...I hope we can replace the lost lovely one in the future...I miss it!


On Jul 23, 2005, StarGazey26 from (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have had this in the ground for about three years--bought it in a one gallon. It isn't that bushy, and seems to grow slow, but when in bloom, it's just amazing! I fertilize often with a acid fertilizer, and it seems to be healthy--just slow growing to me, and not many leaves to the vine. So, if you are looking for a fast growing privacy vine, this isn't the #1 choice. But, I do like the flowers. Just giving it a neutral because it doesn't seem to grow fast.


On Dec 15, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A very hardy bloomer in our region. Fertilize after flowering, great against a trellis or fence. Prune as needed anytime. Mine is just starting to bloom in December!


On Jul 14, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra,
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

Long pointed leaves are Evergreen while mauve-purple flowers flower from Winter to Spring. Some in my area even flower in Summer!!! Very fast-growing habit. Ground cover or Climber. Loves long, deep waterings in hot, dry weather and hard prunings. Another hardy Australian native. pokerboy.


On Aug 16, 2002, pamelaaz wrote:

Maybe my plants are a fluke, but I live in Phoenix, and I planted these on an East facing wall.

Potted plants bought in 1 gallon containers; about 8 months before they were 8 feet tall, dense, and COVERED in blooms (and bees) Even in summer I water them at MOST once a month, I never add amendments or fertilizer, and they continue to grow like crazy. My lacewings (which just showed up one day) make their home there and keep away all the bad bugs.


On Oct 20, 2001, Baa wrote:

Evergreen climber from Southern Australia.

Has lance shaped, mid green leaves upto 5 inches long. Bears racemes of small, purple, white, pink or lilac, pea like flowers with a little yellow or green spot on the standards.

Flowers come at any time between February through to June but mine is budding now in October.

Likes a moist, well drained, fertile, neutral to acid soil in full sun or light shade.

Is only hardy down to 25F so bring indoors in frost prone areas.