Cullen tenax (Lindl.) J.W.Grimes

Tough Scurf-pea

Mulleria 9: 196 (1996) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: endangered (e); listed in Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988

Trailing or ascending perennial herb; stems to c. 50 cm long, glabrous or with sparse minute, appressed hairs. Leaves palmately 5–7-foliolate, to c. 15 cm long; leaflets linear-lanceolate to oblong-elliptic, 1–6 cm long, 1–5 mm wide, both surfaces glabrescent, dotted with glands, apices more or less acute, margins entire; stipules ovate, 2–4 mm long. Inflorescence rachis 2–6 cm long; peduncles 5–15 cm long, mostly longer than subtending leaves; flowers mostly in 2s or 3s along rachis; pedicels to c. 1.5 mm long; bract ovate, to c. 2 mm long, hairy; calyx campanulate, 2–5 mm long, sparsely hairy, teeth unequal, upper 4 about as long as calyx tube, lower one larger and longer than others; corolla 2–5 mm long, mauve or bluish. Pod ovoid, 2–4 mm long, included in calyx, glabrous, rugose-wrinkled, black; seed 1, c. 2.5 mm long, yellowish. Flowers most of the year.

CVU, DunT, EGU, GipP, Gold, HNF, HSF, MuF, MuM, MSB, OtP, RobP, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Also SA, Qld, NSW, ACT. Widespread in Victoria but now much depleted from its former range and seldom collected. Generally grows in drier parts of the state in grassland and grassy woodland on heavy soils.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1996). Fabaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-03-25
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Fabales
family Fabaceae
genus Cullen
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Cullen tenax in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Cullen tenax in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory