Sphenostylis stenocarpa (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Harms

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Sphenostylis stenocarpa

Photo: Bart Wursten

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Synonyms: Dolichos stenocarpus Hochst. ex A. Rich.
Sphenostylis congensis A. Chev.
Sphenostylis katangensis (De Wild.) Harms
Vigna katangensis De Wild.
Vigna ornata Welw. ex Baker
Common names:
Status: Native
Perennial prostrate or climbing herb, growing from a tuberous rootstock. Stems 1 to 3 m long, often reddish, hairless or sparsely hairy. Leaves 3-foliolate; leaflets ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 2-7-13 cm long, hairless or sparsely hairy on the midrib beneath; sometimes with microscopic black spots; petiole 1.5-8 cm long; stipules linear-lanceolate, 1-5.2 mm long. Inflorescences axillary, 4-9-flowered. Calyx with a tube up to 8 mm long and very short lobes. Flowers creamy to mauve or bright pink with a greenish-yellow or white blotch at the base of the standard; keel slightly twisted. Pods lineat, up to 16 cm long, hairless.
Notes: A form with very narrow leaflets (see image 1) has sometimes been named S. congensis.
Derivation of specific name: stenocarpa: with long and narrow fruit.
Habitat: In a variety of habitats, mostly associated with rocky places or termite mounds.
Altitude range: 10 - 1600 m
Flowering time:Dec - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa from Guinea and Ethiopia south to Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
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

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 44 - 45. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 169. (Includes a picture).

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 72.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 227.

Mackinder, B. et al. (2001). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(5) Pages 71 - 73. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 51. As Sphenostylis congensis

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 65.

Other sources of information about Sphenostylis stenocarpa:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Sphenostylis stenocarpa
Flora of Zambia: Sphenostylis stenocarpa
Flora of Zimbabwe: Sphenostylis stenocarpa

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Sphenostylis stenocarpa
African Plant Database: Sphenostylis stenocarpa
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Sphenostylis stenocarpa
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Sphenostylis stenocarpa
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Sphenostylis stenocarpa
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Sphenostylis stenocarpa
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Sphenostylis stenocarpa
JSTOR Plant Science: Sphenostylis stenocarpa
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Sphenostylis stenocarpa
Plants of the World Online: Sphenostylis stenocarpa
Tropicos: Sphenostylis stenocarpa
Wikipedia: Sphenostylis stenocarpa

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Sphenostylis stenocarpa.
https://www.mozambiqueflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=132430, retrieved 4 October 2023

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