1. Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
    1. Desmodium Desv.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropics & Subtropics to N. America.

    [LOWO]

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

    Note

    The tribe Desmodieae as treated by Ohashi et al. (1981) comprised 27 genera and c. 540 species in three subtribes, the Bryinae, Desmodiinae and Lespedezinae. Molecular analyses by Bailey et al. (1997) and Doyle et al. (2000) show that Bryinae has affinities elsewhere; Lavin et al. (2001a) place it within the Pterocarpus clade of the Dalbergieae sens. lat. (see page 309). The Bryinae are therefore removed from the Desmodieae here, as are two genera formerly placed in subtribe Lespedezinae; Phylacium Benn. and Neocollettia Hemsl., which are moved to tribe Phaseoleae (see page 393) on morphological, palynological and molecular evidence (Doyle et al., 2000; Kajita et al., 2001). The two remaining subtribes of Desmodieae are recognised in this treatment as three groups, the Lespedeza, Phyllodium and Desmodium groups, based on results of an analysis of the chloroplast gene rbcL (Kajita et al., 2001). The Phyllodium and Desmodium groups correspond to subtribe Desmodiinae, and the Lespedeza group to subtribe Lespedezinae (with Campylotropis now comprising 37 instead of 65 species as in Ohashi et al., 1981).

    Desmodieae as circumscribed here comprises 30 genera and (524)–527–(530) species (Fig. 48). The tribe occurs in the tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions of the world, but extends into the cool temperate and sub-boreal regions of E Asia and N America (except W of the Rocky Mountains). At generic level subtribe Desmodiinae is most diverse in tropical S and SE Asia (Dy Phon et al., 1994), while temperate E Asia (Yang & Huang, 1995) and N America (Isely, 1998) are the centres of diversity of subtribe Lespedezinae. The tribe occurs widely from coastal to montane areas, but not at high altitudes. Species are most commonly shrubs or subshrubs, sometimes herbs, rarely trees and are usually erect and 3-foliolate.

    The Desmodieae have been considered similar to tribe Phaseoleae (Polhill, 1981a) and were recently shown to be a monophyletic lineage included within Phaseoleae sens. lat. (Fig. 47, page 394), closely related to subtribe Kennediinae (Doyle & Doyle, 1993, Bruneau et al., 1995; Doyle et al., 1997) and possibly sister to Mucuna (Bailey et al., 1997; Doyle et al., 2000; Kajita et al., 2001).

    Habit
    Shrubs or herbs, rarely small trees
    Ecology
    Seasonally dry to wet tropical, warm temperate and temperate forest, woodland, thicket, wooded grassland, bushland and grassland, usually common in open or seasonally wet and riverine areas, also in disturbed and ruderal vegetation
    Distribution
    most diverse in SE Asia (at infrageneric level) and Mexico to S America (at specific level). Occurring from Africa-Madagascar (c. 40 spp., c. 15 endemic), tropical SE Asia (c. 70 spp.), China to temperate E Asia (c. 35 spp., c. 10 endemic), warm temperate N America (c. 35 spp.), Mexico (c. 80 spp., c. 50 endemic), C America, Caribbean and tropical to subtropical S America (c. 80 spp., 21 spp. found in Argentina) and Australia (c. 14 spp.). A number of species are widespread in the Old and New Worlds and are often cultivated
    [FZ]

    Leguminosae, B. Verdcourt. Flora Zambesiaca 3:6. 2000

    Habit
    Shrubs or erect or prostrate subshrubs or herbs.
    Leaves
    Leaves 1-foliolate or pinnately 3–5-foliolate; leaflets often large; stipules free, somewhat joined, or joined and leaf-opposed, striate; stipels present.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences axillary or terminal, falsely racemose or paniculate rarely subumbellate, the flowers solitary or fasciculate on the rhachis; primary bracts striate, persistent or sometimes membranous and early deciduous; secondary bracts often present but bracteoles usually absent.
    Calyx
    Calyx 5-lobed, the lobes mostly ± 2-lipped or subequal; the upper lip entire or bidentate composed of 2 lobes joined together, the lower of 3 larger lobes, the central one the longest.
    Corolla
    Corolla mostly small, yellow or red; standard oblong to round or transverse, narrowed into a short claw, sometimes with small callous appendages; wings ± attached to the keel; keel petals clawed, partly joined.
    Stamens
    Stamens mostly diadelphous, the vexillary filament free or partly joined; anthers uniform.
    Pistil
    Ovary sessile, (1)2–many-ovuled; style inflexed or incurved, glabrous; stigma terminal, capitate or minute.
    Fruits
    Fruits usually stipitate or sometimes sessile, well-exserted from the calyx, compressed, (1)2–many-jointed into articles (loments), indehiscent or at length splitting up, the articles 1-seeded, membranous or leathery, almost flat or more rarely inflated; or in a few cases fruits dehiscing and not or scarcely breaking into articles.
    Seeds
    Seeds oblong, reniform or subquadrangular, compressed; aril not developed.
    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Herbs, subshrubs or shrubs, prostrate or scrambling to erect
    Leaves
    Leaves 1–3(–5)-foliolate; stipules various, free, or fused at least when young, somewhat oblique, striate and ciliate; petiole sulcate, usually exceeding leaf-rhachis; leaflets petiolulate, the lateral ones each subtended by 1 stipel, the terminal subtended by 2
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences axillary or terminal, racemose or racemose-paniculate or, rarely, subumbellate; primary bracts striate and ciliate, each subtending 1 (pedicellate) flower or a fascicle of 2–several flowers; secondary bracts often present, similar or depauperate, each subtending a single pedicellate flower; bracteoles (present in only 1 species in Flora area) paired at the base of the calyx
    Calyx
    Calyx 2-lipped, the upper lobe (entire to) bifid, the lower 3-toothed with the central tooth longer than the laterals, or the calyx almost equally 5-lobed
    Corolla
    Corolla exceeding calyx; standard slightly and wings somewhat clawed, the wings, at least in young flowers, attached to keel-petals by a small appendage; keel-petals long-clawed, partially fused above
    Stamens
    Vexillary stamen free or partially fused, or less often stamens all joined; anthers uniform
    Pistil
    Ovary sessile or stipitate; ovules 2–many; style slender; stigma terminal
    Fruits
    Fruit transversely jointed, (1–)2-many-articled, usually stipitate, indehiscent, or tardily dehiscent, or rarely (but not in Flora species) the walls between the sutures falling away and leaving the sutures as a frame; articles variously shaped from almost circular in outline to essentially linear, sometimes folded on each other in accordion fashion, the surfaces glabrous to densely pubescent with straight or hooked hairs or these only on the sutures, 1-seeded
    Seeds
    Seeds oblong or subquadrate.
    [LOWO]
    Use
    Important livestock forage and cover crops (e.g., the tick clovers D. intortum (Mill.) Urb. and D. uncinatum (Jacq.) DC. ), also grown as intercropping insect repellents; widely used for medicine; cultivated as ornamentals (e.g., D. elegans DC.), and used for fibre

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Alabama, Andaman Is., Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Arizona, Arkansas, Aruba, Assam, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bismarck Archipelago, Bolivia, Borneo, Botswana, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Burkina, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Cayman Is., Central African Repu, Central American Pac, Chad, Chile North, China South-Central, China Southeast, Colombia, Congo, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Cuba, Delaware, District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Florida, French Guiana, Gabon, Galápagos, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Guyana, Hainan, Haiti, Honduras, Illinois, India, Indiana, Iowa, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jawa, Kansas, Kentucky, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Labrador, Laos, Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Louisiana, Madagascar, Maine, Malawi, Malaya, Mali, Maluku, Maryland, Masachusettes, Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nebraska, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Brunswick, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, New York, Newfoundland, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Niger, Nigeria, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oman, Ontario, Pakistan, Panamá, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Philippines, Prince Edward I., Puerto Rico, Queensland, Québec, Rhode I., Rwanda, Réunion, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Carolina, South Dakota, Southwest Caribbean, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Suriname, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tasmania, Tennessee, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad-Tobago, Turks-Caicos Is., Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Vermont, Victoria, Vietnam, Virginia, West Himalaya, West Virginia, Windward Is., Wisconsin, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Ascension, Cook Is., Fiji, Gilbert Is., Hawaii, Marquesas, Mauritania, Mexican Pacific Is., Nauru, Niue, Norfolk Is., Rodrigues, Seychelles, Society Is., St.Helena, Tonga, Wallis-Futuna Is., Western Australia

    Desmodium Desv. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1986 Thomas, D.W. [2133], Cameroon K000087027
    Nov 21, 1925 Armstrong [s.n.], Australia K000279025
    Rico, L. [1387], Bolivia K000295397
    Rico, L. [1354b], Bolivia K000295496
    Rico, L. [1600], Bolivia K000295213
    Bauer [s.n.], Australia K000279088
    Bauer [s.n.], Australia K000279030
    Silva, J.M. [5640], Brazil K000931723
    Heringer, E.P. [4670], Brazil K000931722
    Brooks, R.R. [TMEX436], Brazil K000931721
    Cunningham, A. [41], Australia K000279023
    Cunningham, A. [35], Australia K000279027
    Moore, C. [s.n.], Australia K000279024
    Lindley [s.n.], Australia K000279029
    Buchanan-Hamilton, F. [Cat. no. s.n.] K001132336
    Berçot, A.C.S. [19], Brazil K000931720
    s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.], India K001132335

    First published in J. Bot. Agric. 1: 122 (1813)

    Accepted by

    • Pires Lima, L.C., de Queiroz, L.P., de Azevedo Tozzi, A.M.G & Lewis, G.P. (2014). A taxonomic revision of Desmodium (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae) in Brazil Phytotaxa 169: 1-119.
    • Govaerts, R. (2000). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS D: 1-30141.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • —F.T.A. 2: 159.
    Flora Zambesiaca
    • Verdcourt in Kirkia 9: 506 (1974).
    • in J. Bot. Agric. 1: 122, t. 5, fig. 15 (1813) nom. conserv.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Schubert in F.C.B. 5: 180 (1954), nom. conserv.
    • Journ. de Bot., sér. 2, 1: 122, t. 5/15 (1813)

    Sources

    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. 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 2019. 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

    Kew Science Photographs
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Legumes of the World Online
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0