Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Psoralea aphylla L.

Half-hardy evergreen shrub with erect or drooping branches, nearly leafless, trifoliate leaves, and fragrant, pea-like blue and white flowers in summer.  To 2m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘It is an eligible sort for a conservatory, as, planted out it thrives far better, and flowers much more than it does in a pot.’  [LBC no.221/1818]. 

‘This shrub, though named aphylla, or leafless, is by no means without leaves; but, when young, has both trifoliate and simple leaves, which fall off, and are seldom again renewed; what appear like small leaves upon the flowering branches, as represented in our figure, are not considered as such, but as stipules, or more properly, perhaps, as bractes. The stems of Psoralea aphylla are slender, and the extremities of the branches bend down with the weight of the flowers, in a graceful manner.  A greenhouse shrub.  Native of the Cape of Good-Hope.  Flowers with us from May to July.  Cultivated in the Royal Gardens of Hampton Court as long ago as 1548.’  [BM t.1727/1815].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.784/1850].


Psoralea aphylla Jacq. (1797) = Psoralea hirta L.

Published Dec 24, 2009 - 04:54 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 12:41 PM

Figured are drooping, nearly leafless branches and pea-like blue and white flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1727, 1815.

Psoralea aphylla L. | BM t.1727/1815 | BHL

Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

South Africa

Common Name

Bloukeur, Fonteinbos

Name in the Camden Park Record

Psoralea aphylla

Confidence level high