Podalyria is a genus of hairy to silky or silvery shrubs, some of them multi-stemmed, rarely small trees in the Fabaceae or pea family.
The simple leaves are alternate, elliptic to narrow or linear and sometimes recurved, the petioles short.
The stalked flowers grow solitary or in groups of up to five in racemes on peduncles from leaf axils. The shaggy calyces have short tubes, pushed in at the base and sometimes split on one side, the sepal lobes longer than the tubes. The variable floral bracts that drop off early often contribute to species identification. The flowers resemble those of peas.
The banner petals are nearly round to oblong or obovate, often bilobed and clawed. The wing petals are variably shaped, from elliptic to oblong obovate and clawed. The clawed keels usually have one straight and one convex margin. The corolla colour is pink, purple or white.
There are ten stamens, joined at the base where the filaments are flattened and wider. The discs are variably shaped. The ovaries are hairy to densely so, containing 6 to 18 ovules in two rows. The styles are hairless low down, the stigmas small and head-like.
Carpenter bees are important in Podalyria pollination.
The fruits are pods, oblong to ovoid in shape. The seeds have fleshy aril attachments.
There are about 17 Podalyria species, all occurring in South Africa and most in the Western Cape.
The plant in picture is Podalyria burchellii (Leistner, (Ed.), 2000; Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2015; Manning, 2009).