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Pakistan | Family List | Papilionaceae | Desmodium

Desmodium motorium (Houtt.) Merrill in J.Arn.Arb. 1938. 345. 1938.

  • Codariocalyx gyrans (L.f.) Hassk.
  • Codariocalyx motorius (Houtt.) Ohashi
  • Desmodium gyrans (Linn.f.) DC.
  • Hedysarum gyrans L.f.
  • Hedysarum motorium Houtt.

    Erect shrub, 60-120 cm tall, young branches pubescent. Leaf 1-3-foliolate, petiole 1-2.5 cm long, lateral leaflets 1-2 cm long, 3.5-4.5 mm broad, terminal leaflet 2.5-7.0 cm long, 6.5-13.0 mm broad, oblong-lanceolate, obtuse, glabrous above, silky-pubescent below; petiolule c. 3.5 mm long, stipels linear; stipules c. 6.5 mm long. Inflorescence terminal and axillary raceme. Bracts large, concealing the bud. Pedicel 3.5-6.5 mm long. Calyx 2.5 mm long, glabrous, teeth shorter than the tube. Corolla 7.5-8.5 mm long, pink. Fruit 3-4.4 cm long, 5-6.5 mm broad, slightly falcate, dehiscing along the ventral suture which is slightly indented, articles 5-10, broader than long, pubescent.

    Fl.Per.: August-September.

    Type: Cult. at Leiden, Sept., 1778, Van Royen (untraceable; see Merrill l.c. for details).

    Distribution: Pakistan; Kashmir (Stewart, Ann. Cat.Vasc.Pl.Pak.Kashm.403. 1972), India (Punjab, Kumaon, Garhwal, Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Bombay, Madras), Nepal, Sikkim, Burma, Ceylon, Malaysia, Philippines.

    The Telegraph or Semaphore plant owes its name to the fact that the leaflets especially the lateral ones when exposed to sunlight exhibit spontaneous jerky movements.


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