Family:
Fabaceae Lindl.

Physostigma mesoponticum Taub.

This species is accepted, and its native range is Tanzania to S. Tropical Africa.

[FZ]

Leguminosae, B. Mackinder, R. Pasquet, R. Polhill and B. Verdcourt. Flora Zambesiaca 3:5. 2001

Morphology General Habit
Perennial mostly erect herb but more rarely with climbing or prostrate shoots, 0.15–1 m tall, from a very woody rootstock which reaches c. 80 cm in length, usually flowering before the leaves appear.
Morphology Stem
Stems pubescent or glabrous.
Morphology Leaves Leaflets
Leaflets 3–9(14.5) × 0.8–6(9.5) cm, ovate to oblong or rhombic in outline, usually 2–3-lobed, the lobes oblong, rounded, emarginate or apiculate at the apex, subcordate to rounded at the base, pubescent on both surfaces; petioles 2–8(10) cm long; rhachis 0.6–1.6(4) cm long; petiolules 3–5 mm long; stipules 4–9 × 3–6 mm, ovate-oblong, pubescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Pseudoracemes terminal and axillary, sometimes branched, appearing like a leafless panicle, 7–50 cm long above a peduncle 3.5–20 cm long; pedicels 3–7 mm long; bracts deciduous, 2–4 mm long, ovate-lanceolate; bracteoles deciduous, 2–3 mm long, linear-oblong.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx often purplish, pubescent or glabrescent; tube 3–4 mm long; lobes 3–5 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Standard pinkish-brown or dusky-purplish outside, rose-pink or pale cream flushed purplish or yellowish inside, mostly with a rectangular patch of yellow edged with purple at the base, 1.8–2.5 cm long and wide, oblong, median area thickened and keeled behind, emarginate at the apex, subcordate at the base; wings rose-pink; keel pale basally, deep violet or purplish-brown at the apex, very twisted.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Pods 4.5–11.5 cm × 6–10 mm, linear or linear-oblong, falcate, 6–12-seeded, ± velvety pubescent and minutely gland-dotted.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds brown, 5.5–9.5 × 3.5–6.5 × 2–3.5 mm, ovoid-reniform, oblong or ellipsoidal, compressed; hilum small, ovate.

[FTEA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Perennial mostly erect herb but more rarely with climbing or prostrate shoots, 0·15–1 m. tall, from a very woody rootstock which reaches ± 80 cm. in length, usually flowering before the leaves appear.
Morphology Stem
Stems pubescent or glabrous.
Morphology Leaves
Leaflets ovate to oblong or rhomboid in outline, 3–9(–14·5) cm. long, 0·8–6(–9·5) cm. wide, usually 2–3-lobed, the lobes oblong, rounded, emarginate or apiculate at the apex, subcordate to rounded at the base, pubescent on both surfaces; petioles 2–8(–10) cm. long; rhachis 0·6–1·6(–4) cm. long; petiolules 3–5 mm. long; stipules ovate-oblong, 4–9 mm. long, 3–6 mm. wide, pubescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Pseudoracemes terminal and axillary, sometimes branched, appearing like a leafless panicle, 7–50 cm. long above a peduncle 3·5–20 cm. long; pedicels 3–7 mm. long; bracts deciduous, ovate-lanceolate, 2–4 mm. long; bracteoles deciduous, linear-oblong, 2–3 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx often purplish, pubescent or glabrescent; tube 3–4 mm. long; lobes 3–5 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Standard pinkish-brown or dusky purplish outside, rose-pink or pale cream flushed purplish or yellowish inside, mostly with a rectangular patch of yellow edged with purple at the base, oblong, 1·8–2·5 cm. long and wide, median area thickened and keeled behind, emarginate at the apex, subcordate at the base; wings rose-pink; keel pale basally, deep violet or purplish-brown at the apex, very twisted.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Pods linear or linear-oblong, falcate, 4·5–11·5 cm. long, 6–10 mm. wide, 6–12-seeded, ± velvety pubescent and minutely gland-dotted.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds brown, ovoid-reniform, oblong or ellipsoidal, compressed, longest dimension 5·5–9·5 mm., shorter dimension 3·5–6·5 mm., thickness 2–3·5 mm.; hilum small, ovate.
Figures
Fig. 92, p. 607.
Note
Imperfectly known species
Habitat
Grassland and open Combretum or Brachystegia woodland subject to burning; 150–2100 m.
Distribution
T4 T5 T7 T8

[ILDIS]

International Legume Database and Information Service

Conservation
Not Threatened
Ecology
Africa: Zambezian grassland, Zambezian wooded grassland
Morphology General Habit
Perennial, Climbing/Not climbing, Herb

[ILDIS]
Use
Toxins

Native to:

Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre

Physostigma mesoponticum Taub. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Bullock, A.A. [3198], Tanzania 11633.000 No

First published in Ber. Deutsch. Bot. Ges. 12: 81 (1894)

Accepted by

  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Lock, J.M. (1989). Legumes of Africa a check-list: 1-619. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Mackinder, B., Pasquet, R., Polhill, R. & Verdcourt, B. (2001). Flora Zambesiaca 3(5): 1-261. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Mackinder, B., Pasquet, R., Polhill, R. & Verdcourt, B. (2001). Flora Zambesiaca 3(5): 1-261. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Bak. f., Leguminosae of Tropical Africa: 386 (1929).
  • Gillett in Kew Bulletin 20: 105, fig. 1/B, map 1 (1966).
  • Milne-Redh. in Hook., Ic. PI. 33, t. 3214 (1933).
  • Taub. in Ber. Deutsch. Bot. Ges. 12: 81, fig. 1–4 (1894).
  • Wilczek in Flore du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi, 6: 340, fig. 17 (1954).

International Legume Database and Information Service

  • Gillett, J. B. et al. (1971). Papilionoideae. In: Fl. Trop. E. Africa, Milne-Redhead & Polhill
  • Verdcourt, B. & Trump, E. C. (1969). Common Poisonous Plants of East Africa

  • 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

  • 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 2022. 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 2022. 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