Common name: African Rue, Harmal, Syrian Rue
Peganum harmala L. APNI*
Description: Much-branched, spreading perennial herb, 30–80 cm high, with woody rootstock, glabrous.
Leaves divided several times into narrow ± linear segments, 2–5 cm long.
Flowers on pedicels to 2 cm long. Sepals often toothed or divided, 8–20 mm long. Petals oblong, obtuse, 12–17 mm long, creamy-white. Stamens mostly 15.
Capsule usually depressed-globose, deeply lobed, 7–10 mm long, 8–12 mm diam.
Distribution and occurrence: occasionally naturalised in cultivation and pasture, recorded near Young and Savernake. Native of Spain & N Africa to Tibet.
NSW subdivisions: *CWS, *SWP
Other Australian states: *Vic. *S.A.
Poisonous to stock if eaten. The seeds yield the dye 'Turkey Red'; also used at times as a spice and for oil. Peganum was formerly placed in Peganaceae.
Text by K.L. Wilson, Flora of New South Wales Vol. 3: 14-15 (1992), under Peganaceae.
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed June 2017)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.