Desmodium tortuosum (PROSEA)

From PlantUse English
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo PROSEA.png
Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Desmodium tortuosum (Swartz) DC.


Family: Leguminosae - Papilionoideae

Synonyms

Desmodium purpureum (Miller) Fawcett & Rendle.

Vernacular names

  • Florida beggarweed, (twisted) tick trefoil, sweetheart (En)
  • Indonesia: potong kujang.

Distribution

Native to the Caribbean and Central America, introduced into Africa, Asia and Australia. In South-East Asia sometimes naturalized, e.g. in Indonesia (Java).

Uses

Green manure and cover crop, covering the ground quickly and competing well with weeds. A digestible forage, used for hay or as a browse; also a weed in e.g. groundnut. Appreciated in coconut plantations in Tamil Nadu, India, and as goat fodder in the Caribbean. As suitable as lucerne in protein supplement for poultry feed. At present its popularity seems to be waning.

Observations

Annual or perennial herb or shrub up to 1.5 m tall. Branches striate, hairs fine and dense. Leaves trifoliolate; petiole longer than leaflet, stipules lanceolate, 6-15 mm long; leaflets ovate to elliptical, 2-10(-14) cm × 1-7 cm. Inflorescence a lax, simple or branched panicle of racemes, 15-30 cm long; bracts lanceolate-acuminate, 6-8 mm long, with long hairs along the margin; flowers 2-3 together; pedicel filiform, 1-2 cm long; calyx 2-3 mm long; petals blue to purple, 4-5 mm long. Pod 1-3 cm × 3 mm, with 3-6 ovate-rounded joints, each 4-5 mm in diameter. D. tortuosum is found in disturbed areas, cultivated fields and grassland, on sandy or calcareous soils in coastal areas, up to 1200 m altitude.

Selected sources

8, 16, 17, 62, 92, 174.

Authors

M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen