The common calpurnia or wild laburnum, in Afrikaans the geelkeur (yellow keur, a name used for several trees of the Fabaceae family), is a small tree or bushy shrub (SA Tree No. 219).
The leaves of Calpurnia aurea subsp. aurea are imparipinnate, i.e. composite with a terminal leaflet. The yellow pea flowers, typical of the Fabaceae family, grow in abundant terminal sprays in summer and to a lesser extent all year round. The fruits are thin, pale brown pods, the seeds attached to a narrow rim along the margin.
The species distribution is along the South African east coast in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. It also grows in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng, as well as from Zimbabwe across much of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The habitat is evergreen forests and along watercourses. The subspecies is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
C. aurea subsp. aurea is the only subspecies growing naturally in southern Africa. Subsp. indica is found in India (Coates Palgrave, 2002; http://redlist.sanbi.org).