1. Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
    1. Rothia Pers.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa, Madagascar, Indian Subcontinent to SE. China and Peninsula Malaysia, Australia.


    Leguminosae, J. B. Gillett, R. M. Polhill & B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1971

    Annual herbs, with prostrate or spreading habit, pilose
    Leaves digitately 3-foliolate
    Stipules small or foliaceous, solitary or in pairs
    Inflorescences terminal, leaf-opposed, appearing axillary, racemose, 1–5-flowered; bracts and bracteoles inconspicuous
    Calyx-tube ± membranous; lobes 5, sub-equal, with the upper two somewhat falcate
    Standard-petal ovate or oblong, with a linear claw; wings and keel ± as long as the standard; keel rounded at the apex
    Stamens all joined into a tube split on the upper side; anthers 10, small, uniform
    Ovary sessile, with numerous ovules; style ± straight
    Pod ± oblong or linear, acute, inflated or scarcely so
    Seeds numerous.

    Legumes of the World. Edited by G. Lewis, B. Schrire, B. MacKinder & M. Lock. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (2005)

    Annual herbs
    Mainly in seasonally dry tropical xerophytic shrubland and grassland
    Africa and Asia to Australia (1 sp. widespread in the drier parts of Africa, the other from India to N Australia)
    Related to Robynsiophyton and Pearsonia (q.v.)

    The current state of knowledge of the Crotalarieae was reviewed by Van Wyk (1991a) and by Van Wyk & Schutte (1995a). The most conspicuous recent change has been the exclusion of the Argyrolobium group (six genera, i.e. Argyrolobium, Dichilus, Melolobium, Polhillia, Anarthrophyllum and Sellocharis), which belong in tribe Genisteae rather than in Crotalarieae, where they were previously placed (Polhill, 1981q: 399 –402). New insights into relationships within the tribe have come mainly from chemosystematic studies of alkaloids (summarised in Van Wyk & Verdoorn, 1990) and several recent generic monographs (see below).

    The Crotalarieae forms part of a monophyletic clade, the ‘core genistoids’ (Fig. 36) which also includes Genisteae, Podalyrieae, Thermopsideae, Brongniartieae, Euchresteae and Sophoreae sens. strict. (Crisp et al., 2000; Pennington et al., 2000a; Kajita et al., 2001). Crotalarieae appears to be sister to the Genisteae and both are sister to the Podalyrieae (Crisp et al., 2000; Wojciechowski et al., 2004). This clade is in turn sister to the Thermopsideae and Sophoreae sens. strict. (including Euchresteae).

    The Crotalarieae shares with the Podalyrieae the absence of a-pyridone alkaloids such as cytisine and anagyrine that are a typical feature of all other ‘core genistoid’ tribes. Despite a lack of defining characters, the monophyly of the tribe as circumscribed here is well supported by molecular evidence (Crisp et al., 2000; Wink & Mohamed, 2003) and by cladistic analyses of morphological, cytological and chemical characters (Van Wyk & Schutte, 1995a). The latter study suggested an early diversification of the genera with uniform anthers and lupanine-type esters of quinolizidine alkaloids (Pearsonia, Rothia and Robynsiophyton) followed by the poorly known Spartidium and then the so-called ‘Cape group of genera’ (Polhill, 1981q: 399–402), which now includes Lotononis and Crotalaria. Relationships between the seven genera of the ‘Cape group’ remains unresolved despite several recent molecular studies because sampling is still relatively poor. However, a basally branching position in the tribe of the ‘Cape group’, notably Lebeckia and Wiborgia — as considered by Polhill (1976, 1981q) — is now accepted here. The exclusion of the Argyrolobium group, based on morphological and chemical characters, is also strongly supported by DNA sequence data. Due to reticulate and overlapping patterns of character state distribution in the Crotalarieae sens. strict., generic delimitations are intricate and subject to misinterpretation. Several of the large and diverse genera appear to be either monophyletic or paraphyletic depending on the choice of characters. As currently circumscribed the tribe includes 11 genera and c. 1204 species (Fig. 37).

    Used as famine food, livestock fodder and green manure



    Native to:

    Angola, Burkina, Cameroon, Chad, China Southeast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hainan, India, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaya, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Queensland, Senegal, South China Sea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Western Australia, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Rothia Pers. appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in Syn. Pl. 2: 638 (1807)

    Accepted by

    • Boatwright, J.S., Tilney, P.M. & van Wyk, B.-E. (2008). A taxonomic revision of the genus Rothia (Crotalarieae, Fabaceae) Australian Systematic Botany 21: 422-430.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • —F.T.A. 2: 7.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Syn. PI. 2: 302, 638 (1807), nom. conserv.


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Legumes of the World Online