Mundulea sericea (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Mundulea sericea (Willd.) A. Chev.


Family: Leguminosae - Papilionoideae

Synonyms

Cytisus sericeus Willd., Tephrosia suberosa DC.

Vernacular names

  • Malaysia: kattutuvaram, supti (Tamil).

Distribution

Widespread in tropical Africa, India and Sri Lanka. Probably introduced into South-East Asia. Occasionally cultivated.

Uses

A mulch and green manure crop, also fish poison and insecticide containing rotenone in leaves, bark and seeds. The bark repels crocodiles in East Africa.

Observations

Robust, spreading shrub or small tree, 2-7 m tall. Bark corky, smooth to fissured; young branches velvety. Leaves pinnately compound; rachis velvety, up to 10 cm long including a petiole of 1-2 cm; leaflets in about 6 pairs, subopposite, rather leathery, ovate-oblong to lanceolate, up to 4 cm × 1.4 cm, apex rounded, with few, minute hairs or glabrous above. Inflorescence a velvety, axillary pseudoraceme, 5-13 cm long; flowers in pairs; pedicel 1-1.5 cm long; calyx up to 6 mm long; standard about 18 mm × 15 mm, dorsally hairy, claw curved, inrolled. Pod borne almost horizontally, linear, 5-9 cm long, tapering at the base, tip pointed, velvety, yellowish-brown, often constricted between the 4-9 seeds. Seed reniform, about 4 mm × 3 mm × 2 mm, dark green. M. sericea occurs in open sites in lowland evergreen forest, bushland and deciduous woodland, up to 2000 m altitude. It is propagated by seed, but more easily by cuttings.

Selected sources

52, 88, 96, 170.

Authors

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