Psoralea Pinnata, African Shrub

Pea shaped flowers
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The pea-shaped flower external link has a large upper petal called the "standard" petal, two large side petals called "wings," and two lower petals, often fused together, called the "keel," which encloses the stamens and stigma.


Psoralea Pinnata (also called Fountain Bush)   •  Widespread in South Africa   •  Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco, California   •  (Photo posted Wednesday 12 May 2010)   •  (Photo taken 13:13:26 Sunday 2 May 2010)   •  © 2010 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #13132630_4138BCX
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Single stemmed plant
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A single stemmed plant, like a small tree with branches above that radiate off the central trunk. This example was about 3 feet (about 1 meter) high. It can grow to over 13 feet (4 meters).


Psoralea Pinnata (also called Fountain Bush)   •  Widespread in South Africa   •  Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco, California   •  (Photo posted Wednesday 12 May 2010)   •  (Photo taken 13:25:50 Sunday 2 May 2010)   •  © 2010 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #132550_4132BCX
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Thin and dry
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A full healthy plant to the left. That same plant in a thinner and yellower look to the right. Notice that the less healthy plant produces far fewer flowers.


Psoralea Pinnata (also called Fountain Bush)   •  Widespread in South Africa   •  Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco, California   •  (Photo posted Wednesday 12 May 2010)   •  (Photo taken 13:25:58 Sunday 2 May 2010)   •  © 2010 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #132558_4133BCX
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Needle-like leaves
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The leaves appear to be needles, but are actually thin compound leaves, with several pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are 2 inches (50 mm) long and 1/8 inch (3 mm) wide each.


Psoralea Pinnata (also called Fountain Bush)   •  Widespread in South Africa   •  Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco, California   •  (Photo posted Wednesday 12 May 2010)   •  (Photo taken 13:26:04 Sunday 2 May 2010)   •  © 2010 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #132604_4134BCX
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Fountain spray
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This plant is also the Fountain Bush. The appearance of the leaves resemble small sprays of water upward, which might suggest this popular name.


Psoralea Pinnata (also called Fountain Bush)   •  Widespread in South Africa   •  Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco, California   •  (Photo posted Wednesday 12 May 2010)   •  (Photo taken 13:26:08 Sunday 2 May 2010)   •  © 2010 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #132608_4135BCX
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Bloom location
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Although the flowers appear randomly placed, they are actually restricted to the ends of branches. Also note that this bush is actually an evergreen that never loses its leaves.


Psoralea Pinnata (also called Fountain Bush)   •  Widespread in South Africa   •  Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco, California   •  (Photo posted Wednesday 12 May 2010)   •  (Photo taken 13:26:14 Sunday 2 May 2010)   •  © 2010 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #132614_4136BCX
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At tips
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This closeup more clearly shows that the flowers bloom at the ends of the branches.


Psoralea Pinnata (also called Fountain Bush)   •  Widespread in South Africa   •  Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco, California   •  (Photo posted Wednesday 12 May 2010)   •  (Photo taken 13:26:40 Sunday 2 May 2010)   •  © 2010 Bryan Costales Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License #132640_4140BCX
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