E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Rupertia physodes (Douglas ex Hook.) J. Grimes
California-tea (forest scurfpea)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9527)

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Distribution of Rupertia physodes
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a creeping rhizome; stems erect, 40-80 cm tall, only slightly branched, glabrous or dark appressed-hairy.
Alternate, palmately compound, stalked; leaflets 3, narrowly egg-shaped, stalked, abruptly sharp-pointed at the tip, 2-6 cm long, sparsely hairy, gland-dotted; stipules linear, not joined to the leaf-stalks.
Inflorescence a short, congested, head-like, terminal raceme of 15 to 20 pea-like flowers, the dark-hairy stalks much longer than the racemes; corollas whitish-yellow, 9-12 mm long, the banner yellowish-green, the keel purple-tipped; calyces tubular, black-hairy, gland-dotted, 4-8 mm long in flower, growing longer in fruit, the triangular teeth equalling or shorter than the tube.
Pods, compressed egg-shaped, 4-7 mm long, golden-red, sparsely dark-hairy, faintly net-veined or smooth.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic open forests in the lowland zone; rare on S Vancouver Island and the lower Fraser Valley; S to CA, disjunct in ID.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Psoralea physodes Douglas ex Hook.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References