Eriosema richardii Benth. ex Baker f.
Eriosema buchananii ellipticum (Staner & De Craene) Staner
Eriosema buchananii richardii (Benth. ex Baker f.) Staner
Eriosema nutans is a perennial plant with erect to decumbent stems growing from a thick rootstock; the plant can grow 20 - 180cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food
East tropical Africa - Eritrea and Ethiopia, south to Zambia, Zimbabwe and northeast S. Africa
Grassland, grassland with scattered trees, open woodland, forest edges, bushland particularly on sandy soils, drier parts of dambos and marshes, seasonal swamps; also a weed of open areas, cultivated ground; fallow land; from 1,050 - 2,190 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[
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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