Eriosema fusiformis Rusby
Eriosema stipulare Benth.
Eriosema adumbratum Pittier
Eriosema barbata Desv.
Eriosema conwayi Rusby
Eriosema pinetorum Standl.
Glycine crinita Kunth
Rhynchosia crinite (Kunth) DC.
Eriosema crinitum is an erect perennial plant growing from a thick, hard, somewhat woody vertical root. It produces a cluster of unbranched to much-branched stems that become more or less woody and persist; it can grow 20 - 60cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
S. America - Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama to Guatemala; Caribbean
Grassy savannahs or exposed hillsides, often in pine forest; at elevations from 200 - 1,500 metres[
]. Savannah, woodland savannah, borders of dry forest and areas of human disturbance.
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[
The plant is boiled on water and drunk as an antimalarial[
The roots are boiled and the water drunk as an antimalarial[
]. A decoction of the roots is often used in the Brazilian Cerrado in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory skin disorders such as psoriasis[
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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