Sutherlandia frutescens
Sutherlandia frutescens 01.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Sutherlandia
S. frutescens
Binomial name
Sutherlandia frutescens

Sutherlandia frutescens (cancer bush,[2]balloon pea, sutherlandia, phetola ("it changes") in seTswana, and insiswa ("the one that drives away the darkness") in isiZulu; syn. Colutea frutescens L., Lessertia frutescens (L.) Goldblatt & J.C.Manning) is a southern African legume. It is a shrub with bitter, aromatic leaves. Red-orange flowers appear in spring to mid-summer.[3]


Sutherlandia frutescens is a small bush growing up to about 1 m (39 in) high. It is native to dry parts of southern Africa, preferring full sun but tolerant of a wide variety of soil types. It is a tough plant, hardy, fast growing and drought tolerant but short lived. Seeds germinate readily in around two to three weeks and established plants self-seed readily. Seedlings may be vulnerable to damping off, but provided it is in well-drained soil, it grows readily and is not very vulnerable to pests.[3]