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Pakistan | Family List | Papilionaceae

Desmodium Desv. in J. Bot. 1:122.t. 5. 1813. (conserved name); Baker in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 2:161. 1876; Parker, For. Fl. Punj. 3rd. ed. 149. 1956, Cooke, Fl. Bomb. Pres. (reprint ed.) 1:374. 1958; Ohashi in Ginkgoana 1:1-318, 1973.

Herbs, undershrubs or shrubs, prostrate to erect. Leaf 1-5-foliolate, leaflets petiolulate, stipels 1 in lateral and 2 in terminal leaflet; stipules free or united, striate and ciliate. Inflorescence terminal or axillary, raceme or panicle or subumbellate. Bract striate and pubescent. Calyx 2-lipped, the upper lobe bifid, the lower 3 toothed or the calyx equally 5-lobed. Corolla exceeding the calyx. Stamens monadelphous or diadelphous, 9+1, anthers uniform. Ovary sessile or stipitate, ovules 2 to many. Fruit sessile or stipitate, transversely jointed, articles variously shaped, glabrous to densely pubescent, hairs straight or hooked.

A genus with about 300-350 species distributed in tropical and temperate areas of the world except Europe, New Zealand.

1 Leaf unifoliolate   (2)
+ Leaf trifoliolate   (3)
2 (1) Bracts minute, not concealing the flower bud; flower 3.8-4.5 mm long. Fruit 1.2-2.5 cm long, c. 2.5 mm broad, upper suture slightly , lower deeply indented between the seeds (Illustration)   Desmodium gangeticum
+ Bracts large, concealing the flower bud; flower 7.5-8.5 mm long. Fruit 3-4.4 cm long, 5-6.5 mm broad, upper suture curved not indented, lower suture slightly indented   Desmodium motorium
3 (1) Flowers in axillary peduncled umbel   Desmodium triangulare
+ Flowers in racemes or panicles   (4)
4 (3) Fruit stiped and bent at right angles to its stalk   Desmodium podocarpum
+ Fruit usually sessile, not bent at right angles to its stalk   (5)
5 (4) Flowers c. 10-12.5 mm or more long   Desmodium elegans
+ Flowers c. 8 mm or less long   (6)
6 (5) Leaflets 13 mm or less long   (7)
+ Leaflets 2.5 cm or more long   (8)
7 (6) Leaflets obovate, retuse, fruit crescent shaped, constricted only on one side (Illustration)   Desmodium triflorum
+ Leaflets oblong or obovate, fruit constricted on both the sides   Desmodium microphyllum
8 (6) Bracts c. 2 mm long   Desmodium laxiflorum
+ Bracts c. 4 mm or more long   (9)
9 (8) Petiole c. 2.5-6.5 cm long   Desmodium multiflorum
+ Petiole not exceeding 2.5 cm   (10)
10 (9) Leaflets appressed pilose on both sides, fruit constricted into 1-seeded semicircular parts   Desmodium concinnum
+ Leaflets glabrous above, fruit almost strap shaped, dehiscing along 1 suture   Desmodium motorium

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


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