Description from Flora of China
Hedysarum styracifolium Osbeck, Dagb. Ostind. Resa, 247. 1757; Desmodium capitatum (N. L. Burman) Candolle; D. retroflexum (Linnaeus) Candolle; H. capitatum N. L. Burman; H. retroflexum Linnaeus; Nicolsonia styracifolia (Osbeck) Desvaux; Pseudarthria capitata (N. L. Burman) Hasskarl; Uraria retroflexa (Linnaeus) Drake.
Herbs, subshrublike, erect, 30-100 cm tall, much branched. Young branches with dense, white or yellowish hairs. Leaves often 1(or 3)-foliolate; petiole 1-2 cm, densely sericeous; blade orbicular or nearly so to broadly obovate, 2-4.5 × 2-4.5 cm, abaxially densely adpressed white sericeous, adaxially glabrous, lateral veins 8-10, base rounded or cordate, apex rounded or emarginate. Racemes short, 1-3 cm; rachis densely sericeous, densely flowered, 2-flowered at each node. Pedicel 2-3 mm, drooping at fruiting. Calyx 4-lobed; lobes nearly equal. Corolla purple-red, ca. 4 mm; standard obovate or nearly orbicular, clawed; wings obovate, shortly clawed; keel longer than wings, extremely curved, long clawed. Ovary linear, hairy. Legume 1-2 cm × ca. 2.5 mm, pubescent and minutely hooked hairy, lower suture undulate, upper suture straight, 3-6-jointed, reticulate veined. Fl. and fr. Jun-Sep.
The whole plant is used medicinally for curing nephritis edema, urethra inflammation, jaundice, and irritation from nettles.
Mountain slopes, grasslands, thickets; below 1000 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hubei, S Yunnan [Cambodia, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam].