Mucuna ferox Verdc.

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Common names:
Status: Native
Robust climber or liane, older stems woody. Leaves 3-foliolate; leaflets rhombic or ovate, up to 12 × 11 cm, appressed hairy above, densely silvery velvety below. Inflorescences axillary, pendulous many-flowered racemes, up to 25 cm long; peduncle 15-18 cm long. Calyx velvety and with golden-brown irritant bristles. Flowers greenish-white. Pods up to 13 × 2.5 cm, more or less S-shaped or curved, densely covered in orange-brown, highly irritant bristly hairs, readily dehiscent.
Notes: Note: in flower this taxon is almost indistinguishable from Mucuna poggei var. pesa, which can be found in similar areas and habitats. In fruit, that species has longer and wider pods, which are indehiscent.
Derivation of specific name: ferox: very prickly, ferocious
Habitat: In montane evergreen forest margins.
Altitude range: (metres) 1560 - 1680 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
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

Mackinder, B. et al. (2001). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(5) Pages 17 - 19. (Includes a picture).

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.

Other sources of information about Mucuna ferox:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Mucuna ferox
Flora of Mozambique: Mucuna ferox

External websites:

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

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: Mucuna ferox., retrieved 21 February 2024

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