running postman


Kennedia is a genus of plants comprising 16 species, all native to Australia. They are evergreen climbing plants with woody stems. Thet usually have trifoliate leaves and pea-type flowers of various colours from pink to dark red and yellow to black. The genus was named after John Kennedy, a nurseryman from London.


This genus has 15 recognised species and one provisional species.


  • Kennedia beckxiana — (Cape Arid Kennedia) is one of several Western Australia endemics. It flowers between September and December, producing red flowers with a green centre.
  • Kennedia carinata — Endemic to southwestern Western Australia, this species produces red to purple flowers with a yellow centre between September and November.
  • Kennedia coccinea — (Coral Vine) is endemic to southwestern Western Australia. It spreads to over 3 m and flowers from September to November. The flowers are yellow centred with pale red petals trimmed in magenta.
  • Kennedia exaltata — Occurs in Queensland.
  • Kennedia eximia
  • Kennedia glabrata — (Northcliffe Kennedia) is another species endemic to south western Western Australia. It flowers between August and November and has red flowers. It is listed as vulnerable under Australia's EPBC Act.
  • Kennedia microphylla
  • Kennedia nigricans — (Black Coral Pea), a robust Western Australian species which spreads to over 18 m2(200ft2) is an ideal plant to cover fences and sheds. The black and yellow flowers bloom from October to January.
  • Kennedia procurrens — (Purple Running Pea) is found in Queensland and New South Wales on sandy soils. It produces purple flowers from the late southern winter into summer.
  • Kennedia prorepens — is found in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It produces purple, violet and blue flowers between April and November.
  • Kennedia prostata — (Running Postman) is a widespread species, found in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.The flowers are coral red with yellow features though this species has flowers only sparsely . The leaves have a distinctive wavy edge.
  • Kennedia retrorsa — is only found in the Mount Dangar area and the adjacent Goulburn River catchment in New South Wales. It flowers from September to December producing pink/purple to scarlet flowers. It is listed as vulnerable under the EPBC Act.
  • Kennedia rubicunda — (Dusky Coral Pea) is a widespread species, it is found in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. It produces pink flowers from late winter into spring.
  • Kennedia stirlingii — (Bushy Kennedia) is a Western Australian species. It produces orange to red flowers between August and November.



The Kennedias plants are frost tolerant with a preference for light, well-drained soil in full sun positions. Once established they will spread into shaded areas. Western Australian species are very heat tolerant and make ideal covers for sheds, fences and walls with support. Many Kennedias are extremely vigorous climbers; K. rubicunda (commonly used in revegetation projects around Sydney, where it is indigenous) and K. nigricans can cover up to five metres of wall from tube in nine months. The most popular species in cultivation, K. prostrata, is a much less vigorous ground cover plant.

They are propagated from seed during spring; in the warmer summer months they are easily propagated from cuttings. This robust genus can be heavily cut back after flowering to prevent invasive growth.


  • Australian Native Plant by Geoff Bryant ISBN 1-74166-030-0 published 2005 (by Random House) pages 246,247

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