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Mucuna cyclocarpa

Description from Flora of China

Climbing woody vines. Stems almost glabrous or with very sparse fine but rather stiff short hairs, more dense at nodes and on young stems. Leaves 26-31 cm; petiole up to 13 cm, with sparse fine stiff hairs; stipels slender, ca. 5 mm; leaflets thinly papery, adaxially almost glabrous or sparsely strigose, lateral veins 5-7 pairs, gently curved; terminal leaflet broadly ovate or triangular-cordate, 12-15 × ca. 11.5 cm, base cordate, apex acute; lateral leaflets ca. 15 × 11 cm, width ratio of abaxial to adaxial halves 1.7:1, base shallowly cordate or almost trun­cate. Inflorescences on old stems (flowers not known). Calyx with short dense spreading light brown stiff hairs outside. Leg­ume narrowly oblong and slightly downcurved, narrowed to base and apex and distinctly indented transversely between seeds, ca. 9.5 × 2 cm, ca. 1 cm thick, leathery, densely pubes­cent like calyx on most of surface and clothed with reddish brown irritant bristles; both margins with a pair of wings up to 4 mm wide but of irregular width giving slightly jagged outline, both surfaces with 16-25 slightly obliquely transverse thinly textured winglike lamellae of irregular height up to ca. 3 mm high, sometimes interrupted or branched. Seeds ca. 5, black or brown, with irregular striations or spots, almost spherical, ca. 12 × 11 mm, ca. 9 mm thick; hilum black, length ca. 1/2 of seed circumference.

Mucuna cyclocarpa is distinctive in its large cordate leaflets and almost spherical seeds. Its small narrow legume with irregular surface lamellae resembles only that of M. lamellata, which differs in the markedly laterally flattened seeds, the legume scarcely indented be­tween the seeds, and the leaflets cuneate at the base and usually smaller.

● Shrubs in rocky places; ca. 1200 m. Fujian, E Jiangxi (Wuyi Shan).


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