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Psoralea pinnata L.
Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Faboideae
Common name: African Scurf-pea

Psoralea pinnata L. APNI*

Description: Much-branched shrub to small tree up to 5 m tall. Stems erect, yellowish tan with white lenticels when young, becoming grey with age. Stipules fused for most of their length, subulate, persistant and woody with age.

Leaves with 7–9 leaflets 25 mm long, 45–50 mm wide, pubescent. Leaflets linear or linear-lanceolate, 20–45 mm long, 0.8–2.0 mm wide, glandular. Petiole 4–7 mm long, rachis 10–15 mm long.

Inflorescences hidden within leaves, borne on short shootlets which are spread along the length of seasonal shoots. Flowers 14–18 mm long, pale mauve to blue, axillary, sessile or subsessile, 1–6 per axil, subtended by a pinnate leaf; bracts a fused trifid cupulate structure situated at apex of a 2–5 mm long pedicel.

Fruits 4–5 mm long, 2.5–3.0 mm wide. Seeds 1.2–4 mm long, dark brown to black.


Flowering: Flowers November to January.

Distribution and occurrence: P. pinnata occupies various vegetation formations along streams, in swamps, heathland, dry coastal vegetation, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, grassy woodlands, rocky outcrops, disturbed tracks and roadsides, rubbish tips, waste places and quarries. Native of South Africa.
NSW subdivisions: *CC, *SC, *CT, *NWS
Other Australian states: *Vic. *W.A.
AVH map***

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Stirton, Stajsic & Bello (2014) Naturalised species of Psoralea. Muelleria 33: 97–107


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.
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