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Genus Cullen Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Faboideae

Description: Annual or perennial herbs, shrubs [or trees], variously hairy and conspicuously gland-dotted.

Leaves alternate, mostly 3-foliolate with terminal leaflet largest, sometimes pinnately or palmately 5–11-foliolate [or rarely 1-foliolate]; margins entire or toothed; long-petiolate; stipules 1–11-veined.

Inflorescences of 1-few raceme-like, spike-like or umbelloid in leaf axils; bracts subtending 1–3 flowers, commonly caducous; cupulum absent; peduncle and rachis often elongating after flowering. Flowers cleistogamous (remaining closed and self-pollinating) or chasmogamous (open at pollination); subsessile or pedicellate. Calyx tubular or urceolate-campanulate, teeth ± equal or lower one largest and upper 2 united for most of their length, persistent in fruit. Petals either white and yellow and/or blue to purple. Standard obovate to circular; wing and keel petals adhering above the claw, wings longer than keel. Stamens diadelphous; anthers uniform. Ovary short-stipitate; ovules 1; style gently reflexed; stigma capitate.

Pods reniform-elliptic, indehiscent and adhering to the seed; seed 1, aril absent.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: 32 spp., Aust., Malesiana, Asia, Medit., Afr. Aust: 32 spp. (24 spp. endemic), all States.

Species in this genus were previously included in Psoralea. Key based on Grimes (1997).

Text by G.J. Harden & L. Murray
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1At least some leaves with more than 3 leafletsCullen tenax
Leaves 3-foliolate2
2Terminal leaflet more or less sessile and close to the lateral ones; margins of leaflets entire3
Terminal leaflets petiolulate and distant from the lateral ones; margins of leaflets toothed
                       Back to 1
4
3Leaflets usually less than 5 mm wide, but always less than 10 mm wide; mostly more than 4 times as long as wideCullen tenax
Leaflets usually more than 10 mm wide; mostly less than 4 times as long as wide
                       Back to 2
Cullen microcephalum
4Calyx 2–3 mm long, open in fruit; pod protruding from calyxCullen cinereum
Calyx 3–10 mm long, not open in fruit; pod enclosed within calyx
                       Back to 2
5
5Small shrubs; stems 0.5–2.5 m high, erect; inflorescences interrupted; plants of heavy soilsCullen australasicum
Herbs; stems usually less than 0.5 m long, usually prostrate or ascending; inflorescences continuous, dense; plants of sandy soils
                       Back to 4
6
6Petals protruding before and after anthesis for at least 1 mm; stems ascending then decumbentCullen pallidum
Petals enclosed before anthesis and not visible; stems prostrate
                       Back to 5
7
7Calyx silky, visible under long stout spreading hairs, gland-dottedCullen graveolens
Calyx villous, hidden by dense appressed white hairs; glands on the calyx concealed or lacking
                       Back to 6
Cullen patens

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