Psoralea pinnata L. African Scurfpea
Sp.Pl. 2:762-763 (1753)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Amanda Spooner, Monday 20 August 2007

Erect, slender shrub, 1-4 m high. Fl. purple/blue & white, Nov to Dec or Jan to Feb. White sand, red-brown gravelly clay loam, brown loam over granite, laterite. Hills, plains, along creeks & rivers, swampy areas, road verges.


Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.

IBRA Subregions: Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.

IMCRA Regions: WA South Coast.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Denmark, Kalamunda, Manjimup, Plantagenet, Wanneroo, Williams.

Scientific Description
C. Hollister and K.R. Thiele, Friday 17 January 2020

Erect, shrub, spindly shrub (broom-like). Stems terete, not spiny, hairy; pustules or glands absent. Leaves or phylloclades clearly present, compound, alternate, not continuous with stem, 15-35 mm long, hairy, with simple hairs, strongly recurved, appearing terete but with one or two grooves below; margins entire; tubercles absent, leaflets 5-7, pinnately arranged, terminal leaflet present, stalked; pustules or glands present. Stipules present and persistent to older leaves, 2-3 mm long, without glands, ribless. Pedicel present, 2-3 mm long, hairy. Bracteoles absent. Calyx 6-7 mm long, not accrescent, hairy, with simple hairs, ribbed; pustules or glands present. Corolla 11-14 mm long, multicoloured, mostly purple, white or blue, with some purple, white or blue spots, streaks or blotches; claws absent; standard 11-12 mm long, glabrous, not auriculate, wings 8.5-11 mm long, not auriculate, keel 9-11 mm long, not beaked, not auriculate, glabrous. Stamens ten, at two different levels (filaments alternately long and short); filaments united in an open sheath with one free stamen, 10-12 mm long. Ovary stipitate or sessile or subsessile; style 10-12 mm long, glabrous, not bearded, terete. Fruit dehiscent (a pod or follicle), stipitate or sessile or subsessile, not constricted between the seeds, flat or compressed, not beaked. Flowers in January, February, November and December. Occurs in the South-West Botanical Province, in the Jarrah Forest, Warren and Swan Coastal Plain IBRA regions.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Monday 26 August 2019

Alternative Names. African Scurf Pea.

General Biology. Growth form. Shrub/Small tree. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Birds, mammals, water, machinery, ants, soil movement, garden refuse. Time to first flowering. 1-3 years. Vegetative regeneration strategy. Resprouts from base. Seedbank persistence. Soil, long (8 years). Fire response. Fire generally kills mature plants and stimulates germination of soil-stored seed.

Notes. Any disturbance triggers mass germination of soil-stored seed.

Additional information. Origin. Southern Africa. History of use/introduction. Garden escape.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand pull or dig out seedlings or young plants (1- 2 years old). For mature plants cut and paint with 50% glyphosate. Spray foliage of any respouting material with 1% glyphosate. Monitor site for germinating seedlings for at least 8 years. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Flowering Y Y Y O         O Y Y Y  
Fruiting Y Y O           O Y Y Y  
Optimum Treatment Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Department of Primary Industries (2008) Invasiveness Assessment - Blue Psoralea (Psoralea pinnata) in Victoria. Victorian Resources Online. Government of Victoria URL: - Accessed July 2009.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Moore, J.H. & Wheeler, J. (2008) Southern weeds and their control. DAFWA Bulletin 4744.
  • Muyt, A. (2001) Bush invaders of South-East Australia: A guide to the identification and control of environmental weeds found in South-East Australia. R.G. & F.J. Richardson, Melbourne.
  • Navie, S. & Adkins, S. (2008) Environmental Weeds of Australia, An interactive identification and information resource for over 1000 invasive plants. Centre for Biological Information Technology, The University of Queensland.

Project information and acknowledgements