Parochetus communis D. Don
var. africanus (Polhill) Chaudhary & Sanjappa

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Parochetus communis var. africanus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Serena Mountain Lodge, Mount Kenya

Parochetus communis var. africanus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Serena Mountain Lodge, Mount Kenya

Parochetus communis var. africanus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Serena Mountain Lodge, Mount Kenya

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

Synonyms: Parochetus africanus Polhill
Parochetus communis sensu Agnew
Parochetus communis D. Don var. grossecrenatus Cufod.
Parochetus major auct.
Common names:
Status: Native
Creeping prostrate herb with slender stems, rooting at the nodes. Leaves digitately 3-foliolate; leaflets obovate, up to 4 cm long and wide, emarginate at the apex, green blotched with white in the centre, hairless above, almost hairless to hairy beneath; margins usually coarsely toothed towards the apex; petiole 3–30 cm long, hairy; stipules ovate, 6–10 mm long. Inflorescence usually 1–2-flowered; peduncle 1.5–25 cm long, ascending; bracts similar to stipules but smaller. Flowers sweetly scented, on pedicels 1.5–6 cm long, reflexed in fruit. Calyx c. 7 mm long, the 2 upper lobes connate almost to their tips, the lateral lobes triangular-lanceolate, the lowest lobe longer than the 2 lateral, hairless to sparsely hairy. Corolla pale blue or rarely white, hairless; standard broadly ovate-elliptic, emarginate, 12–18 mm long; wings c. 13 mm long; keel c. 10 mm long, subangular about the middle of the blade, darker blue at the tip. Pod narrowly oblong, 15–25 mm long, shortly beaked, usually hairless.
Derivation of specific name: africanus: African
Habitat: On forest floor in (sub)montane evergreen forest and on streambanks in damp shady places.
Altitude range: 1500 - 2000 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Eastern DRC, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and possibly Mozambique.
Malawi distribution: N,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: Sunday 7 October 2018

Agnew, A.D.Q. (2013). Upland Kenya Wild Flowers and Ferns Nature Kenya - The East Africa Natural History Society Page 174. As Parochetus communis (Includes a picture).

Martins, E.S. et al. (2003). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(7) Pages 35 - 37. As Parochetus africanus (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Parochetus communis var. africanus:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Parochetus communis var. africanus
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Parochetus communis var. africanus

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Parochetus communis var. africanus., retrieved 22 September 2023

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