Description: Annual, prostrate to erect herbs.
Leaves simple, margins entire; stipules 3–5-veined, partly fused to the petiole.
Inflorescences axillary, short- or long-pedunculate, racemes 1-few-flowered; pedicels often short. Calyx shortly campanulate, teeth slightly unequal. Petals clawed; standard ± circular. Stamens diadelphous; alternate stamen filaments dilated upwards; anthers uniform. Style incurved; stigma ± capitate.
Pods indehiscent, jointed or ± continuous, coiled or twisted, with longitudinal ribs smooth or with spines or warts; seeds without aril.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 8 spp., Eur., NE Afr, W Asia. Aust.: 1 or 2 spp. (naturalized), Qld, N.S.W.
A number of species are cultivated as fodder plants.
Text by G.J. Harden
|One species in NSW: Scorpiurus muricatus|