Amphicarpaea Elliott ex Nutt.

First published in Gen. N. Amer. Pl. 2: 113 (1818), nom. cons.
This genus is accepted
The native range of this genus is Himalaya to Russian Far East and Temp. E. Asia, N. America.


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

Morphology General Habit
Climbing herbs.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves pinnately 3-foliolate; stipels present.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers in lax racemes, sometimes dimorphic with cleistogamous flowers; bracts conspicuous, striate, but bracteoles absent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 5-lobed, but with the two upper lobes connate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla small; standard obovate, glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Vexillary stamen free, the rest fused into a sheath; anthers uniform, or in cleistogamous flowers up to 5 fertile.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary shortly stipitate, many-ovuled; style geniculate, filiform, beardless; stigma capitate, terminal, or in cleistogamous flowers the style short with the stigma angled such that it is in contact with the anthers.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Pod linear or falcate, compressed.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds variously coloured, subglobose or ovoid, with a short lateral hilum.

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


Previous accounts of the Phaseoleae by Baudet (1978) and Lackey (1981) recognised 90 and 84 genera and c. 1540 and 1480 species respectively in the tribe. In an equivalent, i.e. traditionally held view of Phaseoleae, 89 genera and (1554)–1567–(1580) species are treated here (Table 9; Fig. 47). Changes between Baudet (1978) and this treatment are that eleven genera are now in synonymy or have subsequently been placed in Millettieae, two genera have been transferred from Desmodieae and eight new genera have been added. Vigna has traditionally been thought to comprise some 150–200 species, but Vigna sens. strict. may contain fewer than 100.

Recent molecular analyses of the tribe, however, have emphasised both the polyphyletic and paraphyletic nature of Phaseoleae as traditionally circumscribed (Bruneau & Doyle, 1990; Doyle & Doyle, 1993; Delgado Salinas et al., 1993; Bruneau et al., 1995; Doyle et al., 1997, 2000; Kajita et al., 2001; Goel et al., 2001; Lee & Hymowitz, 2001). This has required a radical realignment of elements of the phaseoloids (Table 9; Fig. 47), with at least two major clades being evident: Phaseoleae subtribes Diocleinae and Ophrestiinae which together with tribe Abreae are allied to the core-Millettieae (Fig. 45), and the remaining groups comprising a Phaseoleae sens. lat. clade. The rbcL phylogeny of Kajita et al. (2001) and the ITS analysis of Hu et al. (2002) are equivocal as to which clade subtribe Clitoriinae belongs. Phaseoleae sens. lat. also includes two traditionally independent tribes, the Desmodieae and Psoraleeae. Delimiting a recircumscribed Phaseoleae sens. strict is thus very problematic. A solution may be to recognise a broad tribe Phaseoleae, comprising the subtribes Kennediinae, Cajaninae, Phaseolinae and Glycininae, assorted basally branching genera, and tribes Desmodieae and Psoraleeae (both treated at subtribal level).

Amphicarpaea has been conserved against the original spelling of Amphicarpa, and is strongly supported as sister to Teramnus and Glycine by Lee & Hymowitz (2001); Wojciechowski et al. (2004) resolved an Amphicarpaea-Glycine clade from which tribe Psoraleeae is derived (see note under Cologania)
Seasonally dry montane tropical forest (in Africa) or coastal to montane temperate forest, woodland, thicket, bushland or wooded grassland
C and E USA, SE Canada to Mexico (1 sp.); E Asia (Russia, Japan, Korea, China) to Himalayas (2-3 spp.); montane tropical C and E Africa (1 sp.)


Used as cover crops, for erosion control and human food


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