African scurf pea

Psoralea pinnata

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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African scurf pea (Psoralea pinnata)
sor-AL-ee-ah pin-NAY-tah
Genus:  Psoralea
This short-lived shrub or small tree with feathery foliage is blanketed in late spring with fragrant, pea-shaped violet blooms with white wings. Though it is native to streamsides, scurf pea doesn't require extravagant watering and survives occasional drought. When the plants eventually die, they leave ample progeny and straight branches useful for garden stakes. Combine with azaleas and camellias, which bloom at the same time.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Fragrant, profuse bloom. Self-sows. Drought tolerant. Fragrance reminds some people of grape soda.
Care:  Plant in full sun or part shade and well-drained soil.
Propagation:  Best by seed.

Overview

Height
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Spread
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Part Shade Only
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Fragrant Flowers,
Self Seeds,
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Late Spring,
Spring
Flower Color
Purple,
White
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Flowering Tree,
Waterside
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Tolerance
Drought Tolerant
Type
Shrubs

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