Happy Wanderer Hardenbergia violacea

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
vine lilac


Hardenbergia violacea, commonly known as the Australian sarsaparilla or purple coral pea, is a climbing or trailing plant that is appreciated for its vibrant floral display. It boasts a woody stem that enables it to climb over structures and other plants, making it a popular choice for garden trellises and fences. The leaves of the Australian sarsaparilla are glossy, dark green in color, and typically lance-shaped with a prominent central vein; they are often arranged in alternating patterns along the stem. As for its most striking feature, the Australian sarsaparilla produces a profusion of flowers that are small, pea-like in shape, and usually a rich, deep purple color. These blossoms are often grouped together in elongated clusters that hang or stand erect, depending on their support. The floral display is a stark contrast against the foliage and can provide a dramatic visual impact in a garden setting. The blooming period typically occurs in late winter to early spring, when the plant can be covered in flowers. In addition to its ornamental appeal, the Australian sarsaparilla is hardy and can adapt to a range of conditions, although it thrives best in well-drained soil and a position with full sun to partial shade. It can be pruned after flowering to maintain a desired shape and promote healthy growth for the following season.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      False Sarsaparilla, Purple Coral Pea, Happy Wanderer, Native Lilac, Waraburra.

    • Common names

      Hardenbergia monophylla, Kennedya monophylla, Kennedya ovata, Kennedya ovata var. angustifolia, Kennedya ovata var. latifolia, Glycine monophylla, Hardenbergia ovata.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Happy Wanderer is not widely recognized as a toxic plant to humans. Ingesting parts of the plant is not typically associated with poisoning or harmful symptoms in humans. However, sensitivity varies from person to person, and it's generally a good practice to avoid eating any parts of ornamental plants due to their potential unknown effects or the possibility of allergic reactions.

    • To pets

      Happy Wanderer is generally considered non-toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. There is limited information available on severe toxicity or poisoning from ingestion of this plant by pets. However, individual animals may have varying sensitivities, and it is always best to prevent pets from eating plants as a precautionary measure. If a pet does consume Happy Wanderer and shows signs of distress or illness, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 feet (1.83 meters)

    • Spread

      5 feet (1.52 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Drought Tolerance: The plant is adapted to survive in dry conditions, requiring less water once established.
    • Wildlife Attraction: It provides nectar for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, supporting biodiversity.
    • Low Maintenance: Hardy and resilient, it requires minimal care and is suitable for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Erosion Control: Its root system helps stabilize soil, reducing erosion on slopes and banks.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: With its vibrant purple flowers, it adds color and beauty to gardens and landscapes.
    • Fast Growth: It can grow quickly, providing rapid coverage for trellises, fences, and other structures.
    • Versatility: Suitable for a range of settings, including containers, as a ground cover, or as a climbing vine.
    • Shade Tolerance: Can tolerate partial shade, making it suitable for various light conditions in gardens.
    • Habitat Enhancement: Provides shelter and breeding spots for native fauna like small birds.
    • Cultural Significance: Has been widely used in gardens for its ornamental value, and it has cultural importance in Australian landscaping.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Hardenbergia violacea, commonly known as Happy Wanderer, can be used as a natural fence or barrier when its vigorous climbing habit is directed along a fence line or trellis.
    • Its dense foliage offers habitat and shelter for small birds and beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, supporting local biodiversity.
    • The plant can be trained to grow as a groundcover, helping to control soil erosion on slopes or banks.
    • Happy Wanderer can be used in floral arrangements, especially during winter and early spring when its vibrant flowers are in bloom.
    • Gardeners might propagate the Happy Wanderer to use as a rootstock for grafting less hardy relatives of the Fabaceae family, improving their resilience.
    • Its twining habit can be harnessed to create living archways or features within a garden, providing an aesthetic natural structure.
    • During special occasions, its flowers can be woven into garlands or decorations because they are showy and long-lasting even after being picked.
    • The plant can be cultivated to form part of a themed garden, such as a native Australian garden, displaying indigenous flora.
    • Happy Wanderer vines can be used in garden-based educational programs to teach about plant growth habits and the importance of climbing plants in ecosystems.
    • Tanner artists and hobbyists might use the plant's sturdy stems in weaving or as a base for crafting natural wreaths and other botanical art pieces.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Happy Wanderer is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Happy Wanderer is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Endurance: Hardenbergia violacea, commonly known as Happy Wanderer, has a robust and resilient nature, representing the ability to endure challenging conditions and persevere.
    • Connection: The vine-like growth habit of the Happy Wanderer symbolizes our connections with others, intertwining with our community and support networks.
    • Exploration: As the name suggests, Happy Wanderer illustrates a love for adventure and exploration, encouraging us to venture into new experiences.
    • Resilience: With its hardy characteristics, the Happy Wanderer embodies resilience in the face of adversity, much like its ability to thrive in tough environments.
    • Love and Devotion: The beauty and delicate appearance of its purple flowers can represent feelings of love and devotion, showing a gentle strength.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Happy Wanderer vines should be watered thoroughly, allowing the soil to slightly dry out before the next watering. Generally, watering once a week with approximately 1 to 2 gallons of water per plant should be sufficient, but this can vary depending on climate conditions and soil type. During hot, dry periods, you may need to water more frequently, and less during cooler, wetter months. Always check the soil moisture at a depth of about 2 inches to make sure it's not too dry or waterlogged before watering again.

  • sunLight

    Happy Wanderer prefers full sun to partial shade, thriving best with at least six hours of sunlight per day. It's ideal to place it in a location where it can enjoy morning sunlight and afternoon shade, as intense afternoon sun in hot climates can sometimes cause stress to the plant. An east or west-facing spot where light is bright but indirect in the peak hours of the afternoon is optimal for the growth of the Happy Wanderer.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Happy Wanderer vines can tolerate a range of temperatures, but they grow best in conditions between 50°F and 85°F. These vines are hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11 and can survive minimum temperatures down to around 20°F. To ensure vigorous growth, protecting the plant from frost and extreme heat by providing adequate shelter or shade is important.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Happy Wanderer vines is essential to maintain a tidy shape and promote healthy growth. Prune after flowering to remove spent blooms and to shape the vine. This often encourages a second flush of blooms. Annually, a more thorough pruning may be done to control size and prevent the plant from becoming too leggy. The best time for heavy pruning is late winter or early spring before the new growth starts.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Happy Wanderer (Hardenbergia violacea) prefers well-draining soil mixed with compost for nutrients. Soil pH should be between slightly acidic to neutral, around 6.0 to 7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Happy Wanderer should be repotted approximately every two to three years to replenish its soil and accommodate root growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Happy Wanderer tolerates a wide range of humidity levels but thrives best in moderate humidity conditions, typical of its native Australian environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, well-draining soil, and moderate water for indoor Happy Wanderer.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to partial shade, in well-draining soil, and protect from frost.

    • Hardiness zone

      Happy Wanderer is suitable for USDA zones 9-11.

  • circleLife cycle

    Hardenbergia violacea, commonly known as False Sarsaparilla or Purple Coral Pea, begins its life cycle as a seed, which after dispersal germinates in favorable conditions of moisture and temperature. The seedling emerges, establishing a root system and developing leaves to photosynthesize. As a juvenile, it grows rapidly, developing a twining habit, with its vines seeking support to climb on other plants or structures. During maturity, typically in late winter to spring, it displays prolific purple, pink, or white pea-like flowers, attracting pollinators for sexual reproduction. Following pollination, it produces pods containing seeds which mature and are eventually released to restart the cycle. Over the years, this hardy evergreen can develop a woody base, and with proper conditions, it can live and reproduce for many seasons.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Hardenbergia violacea, commonly known as the Happy Wanderer, is a flowering plant that can be propagated through the method of cuttings, which is the most popular approach to propagate this species. The ideal time to take cuttings is during late spring or early summer when the plant's growth is most robust. Cuttings should be made from healthy, semi-ripe wood and should be about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long. Leaves from the lower half of the cutting should be removed, and the cut end can be dipped in a rooting hormone to increase the chances of successful rooting. The prepared cuttings should then be planted in a mix of sand and peat moss or a perlite and potting mix, ensuring good drainage. The cuttings need to be kept moist and in a warm, sheltered location until roots develop, which typically occurs within a few weeks.