Desmodium gangeticum (L.) DC.

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Desmodium gangeticum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Old cottages at Katiyo Tea Estate.

Desmodium gangeticum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Old cottages at Katiyo Tea Estate.

Desmodium gangeticum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Old cottages at Katiyo Tea Estate.

Desmodium gangeticum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Old cottages at Katiyo Tea Estate.

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

Synonyms: Desmodium polygonoides Baker
Hedysarum gangeticum L.
Common names:
Status: Native
Mostly erect shrubby perennial herb 20-200 cm tall, rarely prostrate or straggling. Stems angular, pubescent with longer hairs on the angles. Leaves 1-foliolate, very variable, round, oblong, elliptic or ovate-lanceolate, 0.4-17.5 cm long, rounded or pointed at the apex, almost hairless or with fine very short hairs above, with much longer hairs beneath; margin entire. Petiole 0.5-2.3 cm long. Stipules lanceolate, 7-13 mm long. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, sometimes branched 7-40 cm long. Flowers with standard pink, blue, mauve, white or greenish and dark blue. Fruit 8-25 mm long, of 3-7(8) articles, joined by narrow necks and covered with short hooked hairs, sometimes with longer hairs on the margins.
Notes: The specimen in the photos appears to be the first record from the Eastern division.
Derivation of specific name: gangeticum: of the Ganges River, India
Habitat: In various types of woodland an thickets, on kopjes and dunes and in dry sandy ground near water.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1800 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa and Asia. Naturalized in the West-Indies.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C,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: Monday 30 April 2012

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 157.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 67.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 219.

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.

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

Verdcourt, B. (2000). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(6) Pages 9 - 10.

Other sources of information about Desmodium gangeticum:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Desmodium gangeticum
Flora of Mozambique: Desmodium gangeticum
Flora of Zambia: Desmodium gangeticum

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Desmodium gangeticum
African Plant Database: Desmodium gangeticum
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Desmodium gangeticum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Desmodium gangeticum
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Desmodium gangeticum
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Desmodium gangeticum
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Desmodium gangeticum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Desmodium gangeticum
iNaturalist: Desmodium gangeticum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Desmodium gangeticum
JSTOR Plant Science: Desmodium gangeticum
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Desmodium gangeticum
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Desmodium gangeticum
Plants of the World Online: Desmodium gangeticum
The Plant List (version 1.1): Desmodium gangeticum
Tropicos: Desmodium gangeticum
Wikipedia: Desmodium gangeticum

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-20

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2020). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Desmodium gangeticum., retrieved 30 September 2020

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