African rue
Peganum harmala L.


Peganum harmala is a perennial plant with a low-growing, bushy habit reaching 2-3 ft. (0.6-0.9 m) in height.
Leaves are succulent, dark green in color, smooth, fleshy, alternate, irregularly divided, and from 0.8-2 in. (2-5 cm) long.
The white, five-petal flowers have green sepals and yellow stamens. They are present from late spring to early fall in the axils of the leaves.
Seeds are medium-size and found in a 2-celled or 4-celled green capsule that dries and bursts open at maturity. The plant also spreads by lateral roots.
Ecological Threat
P. harmala is found in disturbed environments such as roadsides and fields in desert to semi-desert areas. The plant is found in many western states and can be poisonous to people and livestock. P. harmala is native to Africa, temperate and tropical Asia and Europe.


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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Zygophyllaceae
Genus: Peganum
Subject: Peganum harmala L.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
harmal peganum, Syrian rue


Plants - Forbs/Herbs