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Desmodium tenax

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

Desmodium tenax Schindl.

Schindler, A.K. (1925) Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis 21: 10. Type: Austromalayische Provinz: Tropisches Australien: Queensland, Rockinghams Bay (J. Dallachy!)..

Stem

Flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-2 m tall.

Leaves

Compound leaf petiole grooved on the upper surface. Leaflet blades hairy on both the upper and lower surfaces. Middle leaflet blade about 6.5-13 x 3-7 cm. Lateral leaflet blades about 2.5-8 x 2-5 cm. Leaflets turn orange or red before falling from the plant. Stipules triangular, about 5-8 mm long and densely hairy on the outer surface.

Flowers

Two calyx lobes fused almost to the apex. Calyx outer surface clothed in golden hairs. Stamens 10, the filaments of nine stamens fused to form a tube with the anthers alternately higher and lower. One stamen completely free. Pollen white.

Fruit

Pods moniliform, about 30-40 mm long, clothed in hooked hairs which causes them to adhere to clothes, etc.

Seedlings

Cotyledons oblong to somewhat falcate, about 7-9 x 5-6 mm. First pair of leaves cordate to almost orbicular. The first 7 or 8 leaves unifoliolate or could be regarded as simple. At the tenth leaf stage: stipules persistent, about 7 mm long, hairy and spreading. Middle leaflet pulvinate, much longer and larger than the lateral leaflets. Upper and lower surfaces densely covered in pale brown hairs.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from 80-420 m. Grows as an understory plant in monsoon forest, vine thickets and rain forest margins. Also occurs in New Guinea.

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)

X

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)

X

RFK Code

3160