Herbs, shrubs or rarely small trees (capensis and pallidicaulis). Stipules filiform to leaf-like, or 0. Leaves simple, 1-foliolate or digitately
3(-7)-foliolate, usually petiolate. Flowers usually yellow,
variously marked, less often white or blue, usually in terminal
leaf-opposed or less commonly axillary racemes or heads; bract and
paired bracteoles usually present. Calyx usually with 5 subequal
lobes. Standard usually with 2 appendages at the base inside;
keel rounded to angled, generally with a well-developed beak.
Stamens joined in a sheath; anthers arranged alternately with 5 long, basifixed and 5, smaller, dorsifixed. Style curved or
geniculate, usually with 1-2 lines of hairs in the upper part, the basal portion thicker than the upper. Legume usually
inflated, 1-many seeded.
Worldwide: 600 species throughout the tropics (and subtropics), most numerous in eastern and southern tropical Africa
Zimbabwe: 10 cultivated taxa.Insects associated with this genus: