Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon

Peganum harmala

Higher Taxonomy
Family: NitrariaceaeView Description 
Habit: Perennial herb [shrub], fleshy. Stem: branched. Leaf: alternate, simple to irregularly divided, occasionally toothed or lobed; stipules minute or leaf-like. Inflorescence: flowers 1 [or in cymes]. Flower: radial, bisexual; sepals 3--5; petals 3--5; stamens (10)15; ovary superior, chambers 2--6, each with [1,6] many ovules, style at tip or basal. Fruit: capsule [berry, drupe].
Genera In Family: 4 genera, 16 species: generally +- arid regions, northern hemisphere, Australia. Note: Based on molecular, anatomical, and morphological evidence, The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2003) indicates that Peganum and Nitraria, sometimes placed in Zygophyllaceae, are widely separated from Zygophyllaceae sensu stricto, and probably should be placed in a different family, in a different order (Sapindales) than Zygophyllaceae (Zygophyllales).
eFlora Treatment Author: Duncan M. Porter
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: PeganumView Description 

Common Name: HARMAL
Habit: Plant < 1 m; branches, leaves dense. Stem: from woody rhizome, herbaceous. Leaf: alternate, deeply, irregularly 2-ternately or ternately-pinnately lobed, fleshy; lobes 2--6 cm, linear, acute to abruptly soft pointed; stipules 1--4 mm, bristle- or leaf-like, deciduous or not. Flower: sepals 4--5, leaf-like, entire to irregularly, deeply pinnately lobed, persistent, linear or lobes linear, acute to abruptly soft pointed; petals 4--5, white to yellow; stamens 12--15, filaments linear, bases dilated; ovary spheric, chambers (2)3(4), each many-ovuled. Fruit: capsule +- spheric, leathery, irregularly loculicidal; chambers (2)3(4); style persisting as beak > fruit body. Seed: many per chamber, triangular, dark, curved.
Species In Genus: 3 species: deserts, North America, northern Africa, Spain; to China; Mongolia. Etymology: (Name used by Theophrastus for "rues")
Peganum harmala L.
Habit: To 3 dm high. Stem: prostrate to ascending, to 9 dm, rooting, hairy to glabrous. Leaf: +- hairy to glabrous. Flower: petals < 17 mm, 1/2 as wide, +- 1/2 pedicel, generally < sepals, oblong-elliptic, white to yellow; disk cup-shaped. Fruit: to 15 mm diam, < pedicel, << sepals.
Ecology: Roadsides, abandoned fields, degraded rangeland; Elevation: 60--730 m. Bioregional Distribution: DMoj (nw San Bernardino, se Kern cos.); Distribution Outside California: to Washington, Montana, Nevada, Texas; native Mediterranean to central Asia. Flowering Time: Apr--Nov Note: Aggressive, noxious weed under eradication by California Department of Food and Agriculture; reportedly poisonous to stock. Seeds are source of dye "Turkey-red".
Jepson eFlora Author: Duncan M. Porter
Jepson Online Interchange
Noxious Weed

Previous taxon: Peganum
Next taxon: Nyctaginaceae

Name Search

Botanical illustration including Peganum harmala

botanical illustration including Peganum harmala


Citation for this treatment: Duncan M. Porter 2012, Peganum harmala, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 15, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 15, 2018.

No expert verified images found for Peganum harmala.

Geographic subdivisions for Peganum harmala:
DMoj (nw San Bernardino, se Kern cos.);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.