Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Senna italica Mill. subsp. arachoides (Burch.) Lock

Senna italica subsp arachoides


Family: Fabaceae
Full name: Senna italica Mill. subsp. arachoides (Burch.) Lock
Location: Kyffhäuser (2416AD + 2416CB)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Swartstorm, Swartstormbossie, Kalwerbossie, Grondboontjie, Elandsertjie
English common name(s): Wild senna, Eland's pea, Eland's senna, Italian senna
Synonym(s): Cassia obovata auct. - sensu Burtt Davy
Cassia arachoides Burch.
Cassia italica subsp. arachoides (Burch.) Brenan accepted by FTA
Cassia obovata var. mucronata Burtt Davy
Cassia obovata var. pilosa Burtt Davy
Status: Native
Description: Prostrate or ascending perennial herb or small shrub, up to 60 cm high, growing from a woody base. Leaves paripinnate with 4-8 pairs of leaflets and a small reddish gland between each leaflet pair on the rhachis; leaflets obovate with a somewhat asymmetric base, up to 3.5 x 2 cm, the ultimate pair largest, slightly pubescent or hairless above, more densely hairy on the margin and midrib below; apex often mucronate. Inflorescences axillary, many-flowered, 7-26 cm long. Flowers yellow to orange. Pod often somewhat curved, flat with distinct raised crests over the seeds, dehiscent. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)

Herbaceous, procumbent, glabrous and glaucous, stems flexuous, angular; leaves 6–7-jugate, without petiolar gland; leaflets unequal-sided, broadly oblong or obovate, rounded at both ends, penninerved and somewhat veiny; stipules small, ovato-lanceolate, rigid, ribbed; peduncles axillary, racemose, many-flowered, longer than the leaf; bracts oblong, deciduous; sepals broadly-elliptical, blunt, concave; 7 stamens fertile, of which 2 have much longer falcate anthers, 3 sterile, depauperated; legume oblong-orbicular, flat, ridged in the middle, veiny and papery, glabrous. Very similar to C. obovata of N. Africa and Tropical Asia, but differing in the shape of the legume, and slightly in minor characters. Stems pale yellowish. Petioles 3–5 inches long, channelled. Leaflets 6–12 lines long, 3–6 lines wide, prominently veiny and thickish in substance. Peduncles 6–12 inches long, 12–20 flowered. Calyx dark olive, petals yellow. Legumes nearly 1.5 inches long and broad, scarcely longer than their breadth, brown. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Capensis)

Subsp. arachoides is far more variable than subsp. micrantha. Brenan recognized four forms within it. Work for the present account has shown that three rather clearly defined groups, based mainly on differences in indumentum, and with more or less distinct areas of distribution, may be differentiated within it. The subspecies, wherever it grows, is representative of dry habitats, but plants from South West Africa, Botswana and the northern Cape reflect in their morphology, features associated with drier environments than do plants from Swaziland and eastern South Africa. In the northern Transvaal densely pilose plants are readily distinguished from representatives of either of the other groups. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Southern Africa)

There is a small reddish gland between each leaflet pair on the rhachis of arachoides subspecies.

Racemes 7–22 cm long, usually longer than the subtending leaf. Petals usually 10–12 mm long. Large anthers c.8 mm long; medium 2–3 mm long; smallest c.1 mm long. Style terete to the apex. Indumentum very variable from minutely puberulous to villous. (from Flora Zambesiaca)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Photographer: AA Dreyer
Date of photograph: 20 Dec 2007
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: PowerShot A700
Lens aperture: f/4.0
Shutter speed: 1/640 s
ISO speed: -
Content last updated: 18 Apr 2024

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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