Plant of the Month-June 2019


(Cullen australasicum)


This plant was unknown to us until recently, but suddenly Carolyn has seen it in all sorts of places. It is an erect to prostrate plant, up to 2.5m high, with a deep root. Maybe this root is why it has excellent drought tolerance, allowing it to retain its leaves through dry periods. The stems are woody at the base, with soft hairs. The leaves are in groups of three. Each is roughly oval, but with a toothed edge, almost hairless on top but with a soft down underneath. The small purple-blue peashaped flowers grow in groups of 3 along a flower spike, which sits above the leaves. The seed pods are small and hairy, and contain only 1 seed. We had excellent germination of local seed and will be planting them at the Cape this month. They grow mostly over springsummer. They are host plants for the spectacular chequered swallowtail butterfly. Lets hope we can attract some to the Cape!!!