Ptycholobium contortum (N.E. Br.) Brummitt

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Ptycholobium contortum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Shashe Wilderness Camp, Shashe River

Ptycholobium contortum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Shashe Wilderness Camp, Shashe River

Ptycholobium contortum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Shashe Wilderness Camp, Shashe River

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

Synonyms: Sylitra contorta (N.E. Br.) Baker f.
Tephrosia contorta N.E. Br.
Common names:
Status: Native
Shrubby perennial herb, up to c. 40 cm tall. Young stems with appressed whitish hairs. Leaves mostly 3-foliolate, occasional leaves 1-foliolate; leaflets, more or less narrowly oblanceolate, 15-40 mm long, bluish-green, hairless above, densely appressed hairy below; apex mucronate; margin entire. Flowers in 2-6-flowered axillary clusters, blue to purple with a yellow centre, rarely all yellow. Pods strongly coiled and twisted, 4-6 mm wide, densely covered in greyish hairs.
Derivation of specific name: contortum: contorted, twisted, referring to the pods.
Habitat: In dry mopane or Acacia-Terminalia woodland, sandy grassland or in alluvial soils near riverbeds.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Botswana, Zimbabwe and Limpopo, South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 12 October 2008

Brummitt, R.K., Harder, D.K., Lewis, G.P., Lock, J.M., Polhill, R.M. & Verdcourt, B. (2007). Leguminosae Subfamily Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(3) Pages 207 - 208. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 225.

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 50.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 71.

Other sources of information about Ptycholobium contortum:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Ptycholobium contortum

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Ptycholobium contortum., retrieved 16 April 2024

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