1. Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
    1. Psoralea L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and is native to Africa and California..


    Legumes of the World. Edited by G. Lewis, B. Schrire, B. MacKinder & M. Lock. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (2005)


    The tribe Psoraleeae as delimited by Stirton (1981a), comprised 6 genera and c. 135 species, and until very recently (see below) the tribe has been of uncertain lineage. Key revisionary studies since 1981 have been on Otholobium (Stirton, 1989), the New World members of Psoraleeae (Grimes, 1990), and Cullen (Grimes, 1997). Hallia was subsumed into Psoralea on the basis of data from inflorescence and flower morphology and leaf anatomy (Tucker & Stirton, 1991; Crow et al., 1997). Lectotypifications of infrageneric taxa in Psoraleeae were made by Grimes (1988). As treated here, the Psoraleeae comprise a monophyletic group of 9 genera and 185 species (Fig. 49). The only generic problems remaining to be resolved are a) the generic position of Bituminaria acaulis (Steven) C.H. Stirt. (Stirton, 1981b; Grimes, 1997) currently included in Bituminaria subgenus Christevenia Barneby ex C.H. Stirt.; and b) the status of eight species of South American Andean psoraleas included by Grimes (1990) in Otholobium, an otherwise southern and eastern African genus.

    Prior to 1977 (Stirton, 1981a), the Psoraleeae was considered closely related to Amorpheae. Evidence from a range of morphological, anatomical, floral development, phytochemical, nodulation and recently molecular studies, however, show that Amorpheae are basally branching in dalbergioid legumes (Lavin et al., 2001a; Wojciechowski et al., 2004), whereas Psoraleeae are nested within the Phaseoleae sens. lat.

    The Psoraleeae are sister to Phaseoleae subtribe Glycininae (see Figs. 47 & 49) in a well supported clade based on rbcL sequences of Otholobium and Bituminaria (Doyle et al., 1997). In addition Cullen (but cited as Psoralea) is part of a fully supported clade with other Phaseoleae based on trnK-matK data (Hu, 2000; Hu et al., 2000). Adams et al. (1999) and Doyle & Doyle (2000) indicate a similar result using data from the respiratory nucox-II gene (encoding subunit 2 of cytochrome oxidase). Psoraleeae are placed sister to Glycine with the basally branching Cullen sister to Otholobium, Psoralidium and Rupertia in the matK analysis of Wojciechowski et al. (2004). More sampling of Psoraleeae is needed in molecular analyses to ascertain if the basally-branching genera are the southern African Otholobium and Psoralea (as suggested by Grimes, 1990) or Cullen (e.g., in Wojciechowski et al., 2004).

    The genus comprises many rare, little-known and undescribed species; monograph in preparation by Stirton
    Shrubs, trees or herbs
    Seasonally dry tropical and mediterranean lowland to montane forest margins, shrubland and grassland, in wetter habitats than Otholobium
    S and E of southern Africa (Cape and Afromontane regions, especially common in mediterranean S and SW Cape, with fewer species in E parts to Zimbabwe); outliers in Angola and St. Helena Island (now extinct)

    Leguminosae, J. B. Gillett, R. M. Polhill & B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1971

    Herbs, shrubs or undershrubs, often aromatic; hairs simple
    Leaves pulvinate, usually gland-dotted, without stipels, digitately or pinnately 3-foliolate or rarely imparipinnate or 1-foliolate; stipules persistent, free or shortly adnate to the petiole
    Calyx usually campanulate, persistent, the teeth equal or somewhat unequal
    Corolla glabrous, not persistent after flowering, bluish
    Filaments not dilated at the tip, the vexillary free or lightly attached to the others, not bent or dilated near its base; anthers small, all alike, neither apiculate nor appendaged at the base
    Stigma terminal
    Pod indehiscent, nearly always 1-seeded.

    Leguminosae, B. Verdcourt. Flora Zambesiaca 3:6. 2000

    Small trees, shrubs or suffrutices, covered in prominent blackish-red glands, especially on the calyx.
    Leaves digitately 3-foliolate, 3–5-pinnate, 1-foliolate, or rarely reduced to scales; leaflets entire; stipules embracing the stem by the broad base, fused to petiole near the base.
    Flowers axillary, fasciculate, 1–5, each with or without a bract but always subtended by a lobed cupulum which itself is subtended by 2 free bracts; bracteoles absent.
    Calyx lobes equal, the upper 2 mostly connate; inner face of lobes invested with stubby black hairs.
    Corolla blue; standard round, appendaged above the claw with inflexed auricles; wings longer than keel, distinctly heeled above claw; keel incurved, shortly clawed, somewhat falcate, with darker patch at tip.
    Vexillary stamen free or joined only near base, arching over ovary chamber; anthers uniform, alternately basifixed and versatile.
    Ovary distinctly stipitate, 1-ovulate, glabrous with a few scattered recurved club-headed glands.
    Style glabrous, dilated at the base, incurved in upper part; stigma penicillate.
    Fruit enclosed by the calyx at maturity, ovate, indehiscent; pericarp reticulately veined, fragile.
    Seeds black, shortly funiculate.



    Native to:

    California, Cape Provinces, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mozambique, Northern Provinces, Swaziland

    Introduced into:

    India, New South Wales, New Zealand North, South Australia, St.Helena, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia

    Psoralea L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Stirton, C. [3818BD], South Africa 58174.000
    Stirton, C.H. [10775], South Africa 51243.000
    Stirton, C.H. [11543], South Africa 51477.000
    Stirton, C.H. [11063], South Africa 51675.000
    Stirton, C.H. [10124], South Africa 51751.100
    Stirton, C.H. [11491], South Africa 52299.000
    Stirton, C.H. [11492], South Africa 52301.000
    Stirton, C.H. [11304], South Africa 52303.000
    Stirton, C.H. [8923], South Africa 52309.000

    First published in Sp. Pl.: 762 (1753)


    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • —F.T.A. 2: 64.
    Flora Zambesiaca
    • C.H. Stirton in Polhill & Raven, Adv. Leg. Syst.: 341 (1981).
    • Hutchinson, Gen. Fl. Pl. 1: 418 (1964) pro parte.
    • Forbes in Bothalia 3: 116–136 (1930) pro parte.
    • Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 336 (1754).
    • Sp. Pl.: 762 (1753)
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 336 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl.: 762 (1753)


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    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

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    Kew Backbone Distributions
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    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

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