Crotalaria shirensis (Baker f.) Milne-Redh.

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Crotalaria shirensis

Hummel farm
Mar 1990
Photo: Mike Bingham

Crotalaria shirensis

Mar 1993
Photo: Mike Bingham

Crotalaria shirensis

Mar 1993
Photo: Mike Bingham

Crotalaria shirensis

Mutinondo Wilderness Area
Mar 2013
Photo: Lari Merret

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Crotalaria bongensis Baker f. var. shirensis Baker f.
Common names:
Status: Native
Small erect annual, 5‒25(40) cm tall, sometimes much branched; stem very slender, with small scattered appressed or spreading hairs. Leaves subsessile, simple, blades mostly linear-oblong to narrowly elliptic, the basal ones often broader, elliptic to ovate. Racemes slenderly pedunculate, lax, mostly 1‒3-flowered. Pod 8‒13 x 2‒3 mm, sessile, narrowly cylindrical, sparsely pubescent, c. 15‒20-seeded.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: shirensis: of the Shire Highlands in Malawi, where Buchanan collected the type specimen.
Habitat: On sandy and clay soils in miombo woodland, short grassland and disturbed places, often in soil pockets on rocky outcrops
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Mar
Worldwide distribution: FZ distribution: Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe. Global: Cameroon, Central African Republic, D.R. Congo, Burundi, Kenya, to Zimbabwe and Angola
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C,E
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,N,E,Lk
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Tuesday 24 October 2017

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 156.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 218.

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 47.

Martins, E.S. et al. (2003). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(7) Pages 162 - 164. (Includes a picture).

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 59.

Polhill, R.M. (1982). Crotalaria in Africa and Madagascar. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam. Pages 242 - 243. (Includes a picture).

Polhill, R.M. (2003). Flora Zambesiaca 3(7) Pages 162 - 164. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Crotalaria shirensis:

Our websites:

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

External websites:

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

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 shirensis., retrieved 24 May 2024

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