kool aid tree
Photo: Psoralea Pinnata - Wikimedia Commons

There is a plant whose flowers smell like grape Kool-Aid!

The Kool-Aid tree, Psoralea pinnata, is native to South Africa where it grows naturally along streams and winter-wet areas. It has established itself in other regions of the world such as Southern Australia, New Zealand and coastal California.Psoralea pinnatatolerates a wide range of growing conditions, including wind, drought, high rainfall, coastal conditions, and poor soils. Because it is a nitrogen-fixer, it changes the growing environment for the original native plant species that may no longer be able to compete as a result. Germination is stimulated by fire. The Kool-Aid bush prefers a sunny position, except in areas with very high summer temperatures and there a partially shaded site is better. It tolerates waterlogged soils, but also copes with occasional drought once established. It can be grown as a bush or small tree, topping out at 12’. Self-seeds quite easily. Tolerates light to moderate frosts (zones 9-11). Striking tree when in flower; prune after flowering to give it some help in the form of pruning and training to develop a good shape or it can have a straggly, unbalanced appearance. Young plants bloom the first year after planting and can be mail-ordered from nurseries like Annie’s Annuals.

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Psoralea pinnata - Scurfy Pea Shrub (Kool Aid Bush)