Tephrosia purpurea (L.) Pers.
subsp. leptostachya (DC.) Brummitt

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Tephrosia purpurea subsp. leptostachya

Photo: Bart Wursten
4km before Wengezi junction coming from Chimanimani

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Synonyms: Tephrosia leptostachya DC.
Common names:
Status: Native
Annual or short-lived perennial. Stems procumbent to ascending, often weak and straggling or erect and shrubby, up to 1 m high, appressed or spreading-pubescent. Leaves pinnate, 3–10 cm long, mostly with 4–10 pairs of leaflets; leaflets elliptic or obovate to oblong or oblanceolate, 0.8–3 cm long, hairless to thinly pubescent above; petiole 0.5–2.5 cm long; stipules linear-triangular, 2–8 mm long. Flowers in lax terminal and leaf-opposed racemes mostly 5–20 cm long; bracts 2-5 mm long. Petals 5–10 mm long, purple or pinkish. Pods 2–5.5 cm long, dark brown, shortly pubescent.
Notes: Subsp. leptostachya is just one of five subspecies in T. purpurea (L.) Pers. that occur in the Flora Zambesiaca area and this subsp. has been subdivided yet again into three varieties. Data for all three varieties has been combined here together.
Two varieties have been recorded from Malawi:
var. pubescens Baker
var. delagoensis (H.M.L. Forbes) Brummitt
Derivation of specific name: purpurea: purple
Habitat: Mostly in more or less disturbed grassy places, along roadsides and river banks.
Altitude range: Up to 1500 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa (var. leptostachya and var. pubescens) or confined tothe coastalplain and major river valleys of the Flora Zambesiaca area (var. delagoensis)
Malawi distribution: C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Saturday 17 March 2018

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 143 - 145.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 228.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 174. (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 52.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 73.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 26. As Tephrosia purpurea

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 214.

Other sources of information about Tephrosia purpurea subsp. leptostachya:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Tephrosia purpurea subsp. leptostachya
Flora of Caprivi: Tephrosia purpurea subsp. leptostachya
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Tephrosia purpurea subsp. leptostachya
Flora of Mozambique: Tephrosia purpurea subsp. leptostachya
Flora of Zambia: Tephrosia purpurea subsp. leptostachya
Flora of Zimbabwe: Tephrosia purpurea subsp. leptostachya

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Tephrosia purpurea subsp. leptostachya.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=129910, retrieved 16 July 2024

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