Crotalaria cleomifolia Welw. ex Baker

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Crotalaria cleomifolia

Picture: Bart Wursten
Nhahomba area, Chimanimani National Reserve

Crotalaria cleomifolia

Picture: Bart Wursten
Nhahomba area, Chimanimani National Reserve

Crotalaria cleomifolia

Picture: Bart Wursten
Nhahomba area, Chimanimani National Reserve

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Common names:
Status: Native
Shrubby perennial 1–4.5 m tall; branches variously velvety to spreading yellowish hairy. Leaves 3–5-foliolate; leaflets more or less narrowly elliptic, 4–12 cm long, discolorous, dark green above, greyish and usually hairy beneath; petiole shorter than the leaflets; stipules linear-caudate, 1–5 mm long. Racemes mostly 10–30 cm long, many flowered, on short peduncles; bracts linear-caudate, 2–10 mm long. Calyx 6–7 mm long, deflexed against the pedicel; lobes narrowly triangular, as long as the tube or longer. Standard elliptic, bright yellow, usually veined reddish-brown; wings markedly shorter than the keel; keel 1.2–1.7 cm long, rather strongly rounded about the middle, with a narrow beak incurved towards the tip. Pod with a short stipe, narrowly cylindric, 3.5–6 cm long, sometimes shortly curved upwards at the tip, sparsely velvety to densely spreading hairy, 30–40-seeded.
Type location:
Angola, Cuanza Norte
Derivation of specific name: cleomifolia: with leaves like a Cleome; referring to the palmately 3-5-foliolate leaves, unusual for the genus.
Habitat: Along forest margins and streams.
Altitude range: 750 - 1650 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,E
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,N,Mc,E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 10 February 2020

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 155.

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 290. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 217.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 244.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 46.

Martins, E.S. et al. (2003). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(7) Pages 144 - 146. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 96.

Other sources of information about Crotalaria cleomifolia:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Crotalaria cleomifolia
Flora of Malawi: Crotalaria cleomifolia
Flora of Mozambique: Crotalaria cleomifolia
Flora of Zimbabwe: Crotalaria cleomifolia

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Crotalaria cleomifolia
African Plant Database: Crotalaria cleomifolia
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Crotalaria cleomifolia
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Crotalaria cleomifolia
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Crotalaria cleomifolia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Crotalaria cleomifolia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Crotalaria cleomifolia
JSTOR Plant Science: Crotalaria cleomifolia
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Crotalaria cleomifolia
Plants of the World Online: Crotalaria cleomifolia
Tropicos: Crotalaria cleomifolia
Wikipedia: Crotalaria cleomifolia

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Crotalaria cleomifolia., retrieved 25 April 2024

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