Canavalia cathartica Thouars
Thouars, A.A. du Petit (1813) Journal de Botanique, Appliquee l'Agriculture, a la Pharmacie, a la Medecine et aux Arts 1(2): 81. Type: (not cited).
A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.
Stipules stiff and stocky, almost glandular. Leaflet blades about 6-11 x 4-7 cm. Lateral leaflet stalks about 6 mm long. 'Stalk' of the middle leaflet 'pulvinate' and longer than those of the lateral leaflets. Upper and lower leaflet blade surfaces sparsely clothed in translucent, prostrate hairs.
Inflorescence a raceme of fascicles. Calyx tube about 10 mm long, lobes dimorphic, 2 large and 3 small. Petals clawed, i.e. stalked. Standard about 20 mm long. Stamens 10, filaments about 20-25 mm long, all fused to form a sheath around the ovary and style. One filament free towards the base. Filaments alternately longer and shorter. Pollen yellow. Ovules 10 per ovary.
Cotyledons thick and fleshy, about 20 x 8-10 mm. Cotyledon venation not apparent. First pair of true leaves orbicular, about 9-10 x 9-10 cm. Apex obtuse, base cordate. About 5-7 veins radiate from the base of the leaf blade. Midrib and main lateral veins clothed in hairs on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Stipules obovate, about 10 x 3 mm. Petioles densely clothed in white hairs and reduced in diameter at its junction with the leaf blade.
Distribution and Ecology
This species may have medicinal properties. (http://squid2.laughingsquid.net/hosts/herbweb.com /herbage/A4592.htm)
This species is of no agricultural significance. Hacker (1990).