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Published In: Journal de Botanique, Appliquée à l'Agriculture, à la Pharmacie, à la Médecine et aux Arts 1(3): 122, pl. 5, f. 15. 1813. (J. Bot. Agric.) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A genus with about 300-350 species distributed in tropical and temperate areas of the world except Europe, New Zealand.


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Herbs, undershrubs or shrubs, prostrate to erect. Leaf 1-5-foliolate, leaflets petiolulate, stipels 1 in lateral and 2 in terminal leaflet; stipules free or united, striate and ciliate. Inflorescence terminal or axillary, raceme or panicle or subumbellate. Bract striate and pubescent. Calyx 2-lipped, the upper lobe bifid, the lower 3 toothed or the calyx equally 5-lobed. Corolla exceeding the calyx. Stamens monadelphous or diadelphous, 9+1, anthers uniform. Ovary sessile or stipitate, ovules 2 to many. Fruit sessile or stipitate, transversely jointed, articles variously shaped, glabrous to densely pubescent, hairs straight or hooked.

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1 Leaf unifoliolate (2)
+ Leaf trifoliolate (3)
2 (1) Bracts minute, not concealing the flower bud; flower 3.8-4.5 mm long. Fruit 1.2-2.5 cm long, c. 2.5 mm broad, upper suture slightly , lower deeply indented between the seeds (Illustration) Desmodium gangeticum
+ Bracts large, concealing the flower bud; flower 7.5-8.5 mm long. Fruit 3-4.4 cm long, 5-6.5 mm broad, upper suture curved not indented, lower suture slightly indented Desmodium motorium
3 (1) Flowers in racemes or panicles (4)
+ Flowers in axillary peduncled umbel Desmodium triangulare
4 (3) Fruit usually sessile, not bent at right angles to its stalk (5)
+ Fruit stiped and bent at right angles to its stalk Desmodium podocarpum
5 (4) Flowers c. 8 mm or less long (6)
+ Flowers c. 10-12.5 mm or more long Desmodium elegans
6 (5) Leaflets 13 mm or less long (7)
+ Leaflets 2.5 cm or more long (8)
7 (6) Leaflets oblong or obovate, fruit constricted on both the sides Desmodium microphyllum
+ Leaflets obovate, retuse, fruit crescent shaped, constricted only on one side (Illustration) Desmodium triflorum
8 (6) Bracts c. 4 mm or more long (9)
+ Bracts c. 2 mm long Desmodium laxiflorum
9 (8) Petiole not exceeding 2.5 cm (10)
+ Petiole c. 2.5-6.5 cm long Desmodium multiflorum
10 (9) Leaflets appressed pilose on both sides, fruit constricted into 1-seeded semicircular parts Desmodium concinnum
+ Leaflets glabrous above, fruit almost strap shaped, dehiscing along 1 suture Desmodium motorium
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