Rhynchosia minima (L.) DC.[Agg]

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Rhynchosia minima

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mtoroshanga Pass

Rhynchosia minima

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nr Sutton Mine

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Synonyms: Dolichos minimus L.
Common names:
Status: Native
Prostrate or climbing perennial herb with stms up to several meters long, growing from a woody rootstock. Leaves 3-foliolate with rounded or rhombic leaflets, 1-6 cm long, variously hairy but usually densely gland-dotted beneath; petiole up to 4 cm long; stipules small,linear-lanceolate, c. 3.5 mm long. Flowers in often lax axillary inflorescences. Calyx with tub 1-2 mm long and lobes triangular-lanceolate, 2-7 mm long, lowermost longest, upper pair joined for half up to most of the length. Standard obovate, 5-10 mm long, yellow, sometimes with red veins or flushed red, pubescent and glandular; wings yellow; keel greenish-yellow. Pod oblong-falcate, mostly up to 2 cm long,almost hairless or more or less densely pubescent, often also with longer hairs and glands.
Notes: A variable species and many varieties have been described. In Botswana two varieties are known, var. minima and var. prostrata.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In various types of woodland and grassland, roadsides, disturbed areas and margins of pans and vleis.
Flowering time:Oct - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Africa and surrounding islands, Arabia, Asia,West Indies, New Guinea, Australia and Tropical America.
Botswana distribution: N,SE
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

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).

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 31. as var. minima and var. prostrata

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 71.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 226. as var. minima and var. prostrata

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 180 - 181. as var. prostrata (Includes a picture).

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 266. as var. minima (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 183. as var. prostrata (Includes a picture).

Mackinder, B. et al. (2001). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(5) Pages 202 - 205. describing 5 varieties

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 var. minima and var. prostrata

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 63.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 76. (Includes a picture).

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 272 - 273. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 71. as var. minima and var. prostrata

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 26.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 213.

van der Walt, R. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Limpopo Valley Retha van der Walt, Musina, South Africa Page 145. as var. minima (Includes a picture).

Van Wyk, B. & Malan, S. (1988). Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria Region Struik, Cape Town Pages 142 - 143. as var. prostrata (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Rhynchosia minima:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Rhynchosia minima
Flora of Malawi: Rhynchosia minima
Flora of Mozambique: Rhynchosia minima
Flora of Zambia: Rhynchosia minima
Flora of Zimbabwe: Rhynchosia minima

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Rhynchosia minima.
https://www.botswanaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=164210, retrieved 21 May 2024

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