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This species is accepted, and its native range is Kenya to S. Africa.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FTEA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Perennial herb, with long woody taproot and prostrate branches 30–40 cm. long, covered everywhere, except the upper surfaces of the leaflets, the corolla and the stamens, by rather sparse short white somewhat swollensimple hairs.
Morphology Leaves
Stipules green, persistent, curved, linear-triangular, 2–3 mm. long; leaf-rhachis, including the 6–12 mm. petiole, 4–6 cm. long, not or slightly prolonged beyond the last pair of lateral leaflets; leaflets 11–17, opposite or subopposite, linear-oblong, up to 12 mm. long and 2 mm. wide, the terminal one much longer than those adjacent to it, glabrous above.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence a 2–4-flowered axillary raceme; axis, including the 20–25 mm. peduncle, 25–35 mm. long; bracts persistent, lanceolate, 1–1·5 mm. long; pedicels 2–3 mm. long; bracteoles at the base of the calyx, minute, linear, or often absent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx campanulate, ± 3 mm. long, divided to just above the middle into 5 subequal triangular teeth.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla glabrous, cream, tinged with purple, caducous; standard elliptic, emarginate, tapering at the base, 8 mm. long, including the 1 mm. claw, 6 mm. wide; wing 7 mm. long including the 2 mm. claw, the blade falcate, oblong, auriculate at the base, 2 mm. wide; keel 8 mm. long, including the 2 mm. claw, the blade obovate, auriculate at the base, 3·5 mm. wide.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Vexillary stamen free, the 9 lower stamens united; anthers uniform, 0·3 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary shortly (1 mm.) stipitate, oblong, many-ovulate; style persistent, 2 mm. long, glabrous except for a tuft of hairs just below the capitate stigma.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Pod flat, membranaceous, oblong, straight or slightly falcate, ± 4 cm. long and 8 mm. wide, narrowed gradually at the base to a 1 mm. long stipe, abruptly at the apex to a short beak terminated by the persistent upcurved style.(The pods of Lessertia are described as “finally opening at the apex”; it is not clear that this happens in L. pauciflora and it may be that the walls of fully mature pods rupture irregularly.)
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 10–15, kidney-shaped with thread-like funicles; aril undeveloped.
Habitat
Short grassland and dry stream beds on volcanic soil; 1700–2200 m.
Distribution
South West Africa T2

[ILDIS]

International Legume Database and Information Service

Conservation
Not Threatened
Ecology
Africa: Afromontane grassland
Morphology General Habit
Perennial, Not climbing, Herb

[FZ]

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

Morphology General Habit
Suberect or prostrate perennial herb or subshrub 5–35 cm high, from a woody taproot.
Morphology Stem
Stems much branched from the base, ascending to erect, ± strigose canescent, becoming glabrescent.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves up to c. 7 cm long; leaflets (1)3–5 on each side of the rhachis, opposite or rarely subopposite, 3–25 × 1–4 mm, elliptic-oblong, obtuse to retuse and apiculate at the apex, obtuse or rounded at the base, with white hairs on the lower surface, glabrous above; terminal leaflet much longer than the others; petiole 5–15 mm long, with appressed small white hairs; rhachis 15–40 mm long, prolonged 1.5–7 mm beyond the ultimate pair of leaflets, sulcate on the upper side; petiolules short; stipules up to 5 mm long, obliquely subulate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Racemes 1–2-flowered; peduncle 7–22 mm long; bracts 1 mm long, ovate, persistent; pedicels 1.5 mm long, thinly puberulous, with 2 minute bracteoles at the apex.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx c. 3 mm long, campanulate, divided to just above the middle into 5 subequal teeth, puberulous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla c. 7 mm long, purplish or reddish to pink, becoming very pale with age, caducous; standard c. 7 × 6 mm, elliptic, emarginate, tapering at the base into a short claw; wings 5 mm long including the 1.5 mm long claw, the blade 1 mm wide, falcate-oblong, auriculate at the base; keel petals c. 6.5 mm long including the 2 mm long linear claws, the blades c. 2 mm wide, obovate, rounded at the apex, auriculate at the base.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Filament sheath up to 4 mm long; free parts of the filaments c. 1 mm long; free stamen 4 mm long; anthers minute.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary c. 4 mm long, oblong, many-ovulate, setulose along the upper suture; style 2 mm long, glabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Pod 30–43 × 5–8 mm, oblong-linear, straight or slightly falcate, cuneate at the base, rounded at the apex and terminated by the persistent style, membranaceous, glabrous or sparsely setulose.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 7–12, 2.5 × 2 mm, oblong-reniform, dark brown.

Native to:

Botswana, Cape Provinces, Free State, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Northern Provinces, Tanzania, Zimbabwe

Lessertia pauciflora Harv. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Mar 7, 2007 Barber, F.W. [54], South Africa K000264737
Mar 7, 2007 Zeyher [471], South Africa K000264740 Unknown type material
Mar 7, 2007 Wyley, A. [63], South Africa K000264738
Burke [s.n.], South Africa K000264739

First published in W.H.Harvey & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Cap. 2: 216 (1862)

Accepted by

  • 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.
  • Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.N. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2003). Flora Zambesiaca 3(7): 1-274. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Literature

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • 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.
  • Pope, G.V., Polhill, R.N. & Martins, E.S. (eds.) (2003). Flora Zambesiaca 3(7): 1-274. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Bak. f., Leguminosae of Tropical Africa: 265 (1929).
  • Harv. in Fl. Cap. 2: 222 (1862).

International Legume Database and Information Service

  • Gillett, J. B. et al. (1971). Papilionoideae. In: Fl. Trop. E. Africa, Milne-Redhead & Polhill

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
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 2021. 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 2021. 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