Cullen corylifolium (L.) Medik.

Cullen corylifolium (L.) Medik.




Psoralea corylifolia L.

Vernacular Names


Indian bread root.




D[aaj]u mi[ee], ph[as] c[oos] ch[ir], b[oor] c[oos]t chi.

Geographical Distributions

Cullen cory­lifolium is found from Java, northward through Peninsular Malaysia to Indo-China and southern China (Yunnan, Sechuan), westward to India, Sri Lanka to Oman and Somalia.


Cullen cory­lifolium is an erect annual or short-lived perennial herb that can grow up to 1.5 m tall. It is commonly branched from the base and arises from the crown of a taproot. All parts are moderately white-strigose and densely brown-glandular.

The leaves are arranged alternate and 1-foli­olate. The cushion-shaped petiole is 0.5-3.5 cm long. The stipules are asymmetrically lance-shaped-ovate to deltoid. They measure 3.5-7 mm x 2-3 mm and are persistent. The leaflet is narrowly to broadly ovate, measures 3-11 cm x 2-7.5 cm, wedge-shaped to cordate at base, acute at apex, with variably dentate margin, nearly smooth and gland-dotted on both sides. The petiolule is 2-3 mm long. The inflorescence is an axillary, condensed pseudoraceme and consists of more than 20 flowers. The bracts are 3 mm long, lance-shaped, persistent, with rachis 1-4 cm long and peduncle 3-7.5 cm long.

The flow­ers are papilionaceous, with urn-shaped to bell-shaped sepal and with 5 lobes that are 3-4 mm long. The lower lobe is 5.5 mm long and glandular. The petal is 5-6 mm long, standard obovate to broadly elliptical, clawed, with oblong clawed wings, clawed keel petals and white to bluish-purple. The sta­mens are diadelphous with 1-ovuled ovary.

The fruit is a kidney-shaped-ellipsoid pod, measures 5 mm x 3 mm, indehiscent, with persistent sepal and style and densely black­glandular. The seed is adhered to the pericarp.

Ecology / Cultivation

Cullen corylifolium is relatively common in disturbed habitats, such as escarpments, road­sides, banks and cropped lands, often weedy.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.