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Pakistan | Family List | Papilionaceae | Aeschynomene

Aeschynomene aspera Linn., Sp.Pl. 713. 1753. Baker in Hook.f., Fl. Brit.Ind.2:152.1876; Cooke, Fl.Bomb.Pres. (reprint ed.) 1:364.1958; Rudd, l.c.29.

Perennial shrub, up to 3 m tall. Stem glabrous, soft, pith white spongy. Leaf sessile or subsessile, leaflets 61-101, alternate or opposite, 3-13 mm long, 1.5-3 mm broad, linear, oblong, obtuse, apiculate, glabrous. Stipules 1.2-1.3 cm long, lanceolate, base auriculate; deciduous. Inflorescence a 2-7-flowered, axillary raceme. Peduncle and pedicel hairy. Bracts 3-3.5 mm long. Calyx 9-10 mm long, hispid, bilabiate, upper lip rounded, the lower 3 lobed. Corolla 18-19 mm. Vexillum glabrous, keel pubescent externally. Fruit 5-7.5 cm long, 6-10 mm broad, 4-8 jointed, often indented on both sutures, echinulate on both surfaces.

Type: Herb.Linn.922.3 (LINN).

Distribution: Pakistan (Sind; Stewart, Ann.Cat.Vasc.Pl.W.Pak.Kashm.383. 1972) India, Ceylon, Malay Isles and Tropical Africa.

The specimen bears the specific epithet and the relevant number corresponding to its position in Species Plantarum, in the hand writing of Linnaeus, but it is devoid of fruits which Linnaeus describes. However the specimens in Herb. Hermann vol. 2.fol.52 as well as the illustration cited by Linnaeus (Breyn Cent.51.t. 52) are provided with pods.

Soft spongy stems known as Sola are used in hats, floats and are also used as lint.


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