Psoralea L.

Scurf Pea

Greek psoraleos— scabby, referring to the glandular dots over the plant.

Scurfy perennial herbs or shrubs. Leaves alternate with a terminal leaflet; stipules linear-lanceolate, fused to the leaf stalk. Leaflets 3-many, occasionally 1, entire or toothed, linear to obovate, gland-dotted below. Flowers in heads, spikes or bunches, occasionally solitary. Flowers blue, pink, purple or white, rarely yellow. Stamens in 2 series, the uppermost one generally free. Fruit pod small, ovate, not splitting open.

About 130 species from S Africa and N and S America.

Seed and semi-hardwood cuttings; herbaceous perennials by division.

P. esculenta and P. hypogaea were eaten by N American Indians and early settlers; P. macrostachys is a source of fibre; P. glandulosa and P. pinnata have medicinal properties.

Leaflets with translucent gland dots, at least below.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Fabaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Fabales
family       Fabaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Psoralea pinnata L.