Eriosema bequaertii De Wild.
Eriosema chrysadenium is an erect, perennial plant producing one to several branched or unbranched stems from a woody rootstock or series of small tubers that are around 15mm x 12mm, The plant grows 4 - 25cm tall, occasionally reaching 70cm[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food
Tropical Africa - Cameroon to Central Africal Republic and Uganda, south to Angola, southern DR Congo, Zimbabwe and Mozambique
Grassland, often seasonally burnt; open Brachystegia woodland; Protea scrub and grassland; damp places amongst granite rocks; grassy savannahs; humid ground with humus; at elevations from 1,120 - 2,400 metres[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
]. Used as a famine food when better foods are not available[
Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have ripened and dried the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[
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