Vigna pygmaea R.E. Fr.

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Vigna pygmaea

Picture: Bart Wursten
Calderwood Park, Peterhouse School

Vigna pygmaea

Picture: Bart Wursten
Christon Bank

Vigna pygmaea

Picture: Bart Wursten
Christon Bank

Vigna pygmaea

Picture: Mark Hyde
Mukuvisi Woodland

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

Common names:
Status: Native
Short erect pyrophytic herb, up to 15 cm tall, flowering when leafless. Stem weakly pubescent. Leaves appearing after flowering, 3-foliolate, leaflets elliptic-oblong to linear-oblong, 1–8 cm long, almost hairless or with short appressed bristly pubescence on both surfaces; petiole 1.5–8 cm long; stipules lanceolate, 2–11 mm long, almost truncate or slightly bilobed at the base, only well developed on leafy stems. Inflorescence on a peduncle up to 17 cm long. Flower pale to deep mauve or violet, 9–12 mm long. Calyx almost hairless to densely covered with white and blackish-brown bristly pubescence; tube 2–3 mm long; lobes subequal, 1–4 mm long. Standard with 2 parallel widely spaced appendages and two smaller internal appendages; keel without a beak, slightly twisted towards the left. Pods linear-cylindrical, 3–4 cm long, densely covered with short, bristly, white and dark brown pubescence, apex with a curved beak.
Type location:
Notes: See the very similar Vigna phoenix for comparison.
Derivation of specific name: pygmaea: pygmy; very small.
Habitat: Regularly burnt grassland and miombo woodland.
Altitude range: 900 - 2250 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: DRC, Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N,W,C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,N,E,C,Lk,S,W
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: Wednesday 30 October 2019

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 42 - 43. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 171.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 58.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 37.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 229.

Mackinder, B. et al. (2001). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(5) Pages 135 - 136.

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 52.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 66.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 74.

Other sources of information about Vigna pygmaea:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Vigna pygmaea
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Vigna pygmaea
Flora of Malawi: Vigna pygmaea
Flora of Mozambique: Vigna pygmaea
Flora of Zimbabwe: Vigna pygmaea

External websites:

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

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: Vigna pygmaea., retrieved 19 July 2024

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