Desmodium uncinatum (Jacq.) DC.

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Desmodium uncinatum

Photo: Meg Coates Palgrave
Lichinga 1000ha Niassa, Mozambique

Desmodium uncinatum

Photo: Meg Coates Palgrave
Lichinga 1000ha Niassa, Mozambique

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Common names: Silverleaf (English)
Status: Introduced
Prostrate or sprawling perennial, Stems, leaves (and articles) covered in dense hooked hairs readily adhering to clothing. Leaves 3-foliolate; leaflets ovate, acute to acuminate at apex, with a broad whitish marking centred on the main vein on the upper surface; petiole 1-5 cm; rhachis 0.5-1.5 cm. Inflorescences mostly terminal, 10-40 cm. Standard purple, fading to blue-green. Fruits constricted between the 3-8 articles; articles 3-7 × 3-4 mm.
Notes: Recorded for Mozambique by Meg Coates Palgrave in 2009
Derivation of specific name: uncinatum: bearing hooks, referring to the indumentum of the stems and pods.
Habitat: Widely introduced into the tropics as a pasture legume and is now often found as an invasive escape along roadsides, at the edges of woodland or riverine vegetation and even in built-up areas.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native of South America.
Mozambique distribution: N
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 5 June 2009

Chapano, C., Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 13.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 98.

Verdcourt, B. (2000). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(6) Page 10.

Other sources of information about Desmodium uncinatum:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Desmodium uncinatum
Flora of Zambia: Desmodium uncinatum
Flora of Zimbabwe: Desmodium uncinatum
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Desmodium uncinatum

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Desmodium uncinatum
African Plant Database: Desmodium uncinatum
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Desmodium uncinatum
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Desmodium uncinatum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Desmodium uncinatum
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Desmodium uncinatum
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Desmodium uncinatum
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Desmodium uncinatum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Desmodium uncinatum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Desmodium uncinatum
JSTOR Plant Science: Desmodium uncinatum
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Desmodium uncinatum
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Desmodium uncinatum
The Plant List (version 1.1): Desmodium uncinatum
Tropicos: Desmodium uncinatum

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-18

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2018). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Desmodium uncinatum., retrieved 21 March 2018

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