1. Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
    1. Genus: Lotus L.
      1. Lotus discolor E.Mey.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Nigeria to Ethiopia and S. Africa.

    [FWTA]

    Papilionaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:2. 1958

    Habit
    An ascending herb with wiry branches from a woody stock
    Flowers
    Flowers yellow.
    [FZ]

    Leguminosae, various authors. Flora Zambesiaca 3:7. 2003

    Habit
    Perennial herb with many herbaceous stems from a woody rootstock.
    Stem
    Stems erect and 30–90 cm tall, or sometimes scrambling and up to 2 m long, usually up to 2.5 mm in diameter, the epidermis yellowish-green when dry, whitish or yellowish appressed pubescent, sometimes sparsely so, or pilose with spreading and arching or curled whitish or yellowish hairs, grooved, sometimes the prostrate stems woody and persisting, tinged purple.
    Leaves
    Leaves usually well spaced, often remote towards the base, 5-foliolate; leaf rhachis usually 1.5–4.5 mm long, less often up to 6(10) mm long, usually shorter than half the length of the basal leaflets or sometimes longer, indumentum as for the stems; basal leaflets 5–15 × 2.2–7 mm, 2–3 times as long as wide, oblanceolate to obovate, similar to the apical ones but smaller, or sometimes asymmetrically elliptic-oblong, subacute to rounded but apiculate at the apex, cuneate to obtuse at the base; apical leaflets 10–18 × 3–7 mm, 2.5–4 times as long as wide, cuneate-oblanceolate to cuneate-obovate, acute to rounded but apiculate at the apex; all leaflets appressed pubescent or spreading hairy on both surfaces, sometimes sparsely so; stipular glands very small or absent.
    Inflorescences
    Umbels 2–8-flowered, usually 5–6-flowered; peduncle 2–9 cm long, occasionally up to 15 cm long; foliage leaf on the peduncle sometimes inserted up to 5(8) mm above the tip, 1-foliolate or 3-foliolate with leaflets up to 14 mm long but often much shorter, oblanceolate; pedicels 1.5–3 mm long; glands (bracts) minute or absent.
    Calyx
    Calyx light green often purple-tinged, appressed pubescent or spreading hairy; hypanthium c. 1 mm long, calyx tube 2–2.5 mm above the insertion of the stamens; calyx teeth 1.5–3 mm long, triangular-acuminate.
    Corolla
    Corolla white or cream, the standard sometimes veined with purple, the keel with purple tip; standard 7–9 × 3.5–4.5 mm, usually 0.5–1.5 mm shorter than the wings, ± violin-shaped, wedge-shaped at the base, retuse, the margins infolded over 4–5 mm from the base, the upper third wider and abruptly bent upward; wings 9–11 mm long including the 3–3.5 mm long claw, the blade c. 4 mm wide, oblong, laterally pouched, strongly auriculate; keel c. 1 mm shorter than the wings, curved, pointed, the claws c. 3 mm long.
    Filaments
    Filament sheath 5–6 mm long, papillose near the base; free parts of the shorter filaments c. 2 mm long, those of the longer filaments c. 3 mm long.
    Pistil
    Ovary 5–6 mm long, glabrous, 25–29-ovulate; style 3–4 mm long, curved upwards.
    Fruits
    Pod up to 35 × 3 mm, often much shorter, reddish-brown to greyish-brown.
    Seeds
    Seeds 17 or less, c. 1.5 mm long, ovoid or globose, dark grey.
    [ILDIS]

    International Legume Database and Information Service

    Conservation
    Not Threatened
    Habit
    Perennial, Not climbing, Herb
    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Perennial, drying a yellowish-green, the stems erect or straggling from a woody rootstock, up to 70 cm. long, or occasionally more, and 2·5 mm. wide; hairs throughout the plant appressed, yellowish, rarely over 0·5 mm. long; internodes rarely less than 15 mm. long.
    Leaves
    Leaf-rhachis commonly ± 2 mm., much less than half as long as basal leaflets; leaflets cuneate-oblanceolate, usually 2·5–4 times as long as wide, commonly ± 12 mm. by 4·5 mm., appressed pubescent on both sides; basal leaflets usually much the same shape and size as the others but sometimes asymmetrically oblong.
    Inflorescences
    Umbels 2–7-flowered; peduncle 2–5 cm. long, appressed pubescent, densely so towards the top; bract 1–3-foliolate, oblanceolate; glands obscure, minute; pedicels densely appressed pubescent, ± 3 mm. long.
    Calyx
    Calyx appressed pubescent, the tube ± 3 mm. long, 1 mm. below and 2 mm. above the insertion of the stamens; teeth triangular-acuminate, ± 3 mm. long.
    Corolla
    Corolla white with pink markings; standard cuneate-oblong, constricted above the middle, 6–9 mm. long, 1–2 mm. shorter than the wing.
    Filaments
    Filament-sheath 4–6 mm. long, the free parts of the shorter filaments two-thirds or three-fourths as long as those of the longer filaments.
    Pistil
    Ovary 4–5 mm. long, ± 25-ovulate; style 3–5 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Pod ± 2·5 cm. long, ± 8-seeded.
    Figures
    Fig. 146/14, p. 1046.
    Habitat
    Upland grassland; 1200–2250 m., usually 1500–2000 m., rainfall 900–1500 mm.
    Distribution
    K4 K6 T1 T2 T3 T4 T6 T7 U2 U4

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Ethiopia, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Lotus discolor E.Mey. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Dec 1, 2003 Pollard, B.J. [688], Cameroon K000746611
    Oct 1, 2003 Pollard, B.J. [466], Cameroon K000746610
    Dec 1, 2000 Cheek, M. [8555], Cameroon K000337812
    Harvey [s.n.], South Africa K000226755
    Schimper [s.n.], Ethiopia K000226732 Unknown type material
    Drege [s.n.] K000226754 Unknown type material
    Atherstone, W.G. [s.n.], South Africa K000226756
    Ujor, E.U. [29973], Cameroon K000087109
    Daramola, B. O. [FHI 43214], Cameroon K000087108

    First published in Comm. Pl. Afr. Austr.: 92 (1836)

    Accepted by

    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.N. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2003). Flora Zambesiaca 3(7): 1-274. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Lock, J.M. (1989). Legumes of Africa a check-list: 1-619. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • Brenan in Mem. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 8: 249
    • Boutique in Fl. Congo Belge 4: 302, fig. 20, A–B.
    • Bak. f. Leg. Trop. Afr. 1: 88
    • Brand in Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 25: 213 (1898).
    • Comm. Pl. Afr. Austr. 92 (1835)
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.N. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2003). Flora Zambesiaca 3(7): 1-274. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa an annotated checklist Strelitzia 14: 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Lock, J.M. (1989). Legumes of Africa a check-list: 1-619. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Gillett in Kew Bulletin 13: 371 (1958).
    • Hepper in Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 1: 552 (1958).
    • Boutique in Flore du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi, 4: 302, fig. 20/B (1953).
    • E. Mey., Comm. Pl. Afr. Austr.: 92 (1836).

    Sources

    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

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical 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/

    International Legume Database and Information Service
    International Legume Database and Information Service (ILDIS) V10.39 Nov 2011
    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