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Useful Tropical Plants

Flemingia grahamiana

Wight & Arn.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Eriosema erythrocarpon Beck

Flemingia hockii De Wild.

Flemingia rhodocarpa Baker

Moghania grahamiana (Wight & Arn.) Kuntze

Moghania rhodocarpa (Baker) Hauman

Common Name:

Flemingia grahamiana

General Information

Flemingia grahamiana is a much-branched, erect, or occasionally subscandent, perennial herbaceous plant or sometimes a scarcely woody subshrub; it can grow from 30 - 180cm tall. The stems are at first silky greyish or fulvous hairy, later becoming glabrescent[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
]. The plant has deep growing, sometimes tuberous roots[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The fruit of this species is one of the principal sources of a very popular Arab dye called 'waras', 'wars' or 'warus'. Waras is a coarse purple or brilliant orange-brown powder. The plant has been cultivated as a dye and medicinal plant since ancient times in the Yemen. Formerly it was also cultivated in Ethiopia and the dye was exported to Yemen[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.

Range

Africa - Ghana, Central African Republic, Sudan Eritrea, Ethiopia, south through E. Africa to S. Africa; Asia - India, China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam

Habitat

Grassland, grassland with scattered trees; Brachystegia woodland; sometimes near swamps and streams; rocky places; mushitu vegetation; lake shore margins; dambo; miombo; chipya woodlands; hillsides; termite mounds; at elevations to 2,100 metre[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height1.00 m
PollinatorsBees, Insects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


Species in this genus generally succeed in sunny and partially shady positions so long as the soil is well-drained[
974
Title
Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants - Identification and Cultivation of over 3,000 Tropical Plants
Publication
 
Author
Ahmed Fayaz
Publisher
Firefly Books Ltd.; New Zealand
Year
2011
ISBN
978-1-55407-489
Description
A good photograph and terse but detailed information for over 3,000 species of tropical plants. An excellent reference.
].
The first fruits can be harvested after about one year after the seed is sown[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]
After picking the fruits, the shrub is cut down at about 15cm from ground level. It sprouts again after rain, and bears fruits a second time after about six months. The cutting back is repeated every second year until the plant dies[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Rain destroys the fruits for commercial purposes; therefore they are only gathered in the dry season. The harvested fruits are first dried (some days in the sun), put in a bag, which then is beaten to loosen the tinctorial powder. Alternatively the fruits are rubbed over a sieve[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
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[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

The tuberous root is said to be edible[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Rich in starch[
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
].

Medicinal

A root decoction is drunk as a treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
1463
Title
Phytochemical and Pharmacological potential of Flemingia Roxb. Ex W.T.Aiton (Fabaceae)
Publication
International Journal of Phytomedicine 3 (2011) 294-307
Author
Kavita Ghalot; V.K.Lal.; S.Jha
Website
http://www.arjournals.org/index.php/ijpm/index
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
0975-0185
Description
 
].

The plant is used internally as a purgative and as a treatment for colds[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
1463
Title
Phytochemical and Pharmacological potential of Flemingia Roxb. Ex W.T.Aiton (Fabaceae)
Publication
International Journal of Phytomedicine 3 (2011) 294-307
Author
Kavita Ghalot; V.K.Lal.; S.Jha
Website
http://www.arjournals.org/index.php/ijpm/index
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
0975-0185
Description
 
]
It is applied topically as a treatment against skin diseases[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
1463
Title
Phytochemical and Pharmacological potential of Flemingia Roxb. Ex W.T.Aiton (Fabaceae)
Publication
International Journal of Phytomedicine 3 (2011) 294-307
Author
Kavita Ghalot; V.K.Lal.; S.Jha
Website
http://www.arjournals.org/index.php/ijpm/index
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
0975-0185
Description
 
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant has been recommended as a cover crop in DR Congo[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

Flemingia grahamiana is one of the principal sources of the Arab dye called ‘waras’, ‘wars’ or ‘warus’. Waras is a coarse purple or brilliant orange-brown powder, consisting of single (not grouped) hairs and dark gland globules rubbed from dry fruits. The powder is used in India, the Arab world and in Africa (e.g. in Uganda, Zimbabwe and Malawi), mainly for dyeing silk and cotton a golden-yellow, but also for other purposes such as dyeing bamboo for baskets and making coloured ink. It does not seem to be applied to wool[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Waras is also used as a cosmetic by placing a small portion of the powder in the palm of the hand and moistening it with water; the hands are then rubbed together, producing a lather of a bright gamboge colour, which is applied as required[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The fruit powder of Flemingia grahamiana contains a dark red to orange-brown resin, an orange-red crystalline substance and small quantities of a yellow crystalline substance. These are flavonoid colorants belonging to the group of chalcones: flemingins A, B and C, homoflemingin and 5-deoxyhomoflemingin. These principles resemble those of kamala (Mallotus philippinensis (Lam.) Muell.Arg.), which also are complex chalcones, but not identical. The dye of kamala is also produced by the glands on the fruits and in international trade waras and kamala are often traded together. In dye powder of waras, uncoloured long and simple hairs can be found, whereas in dye powder of kamala short uncoloured stellate hairs are found[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
To prepare the dye, the powder is dissolved in the dye bath with an equal weight of sodium carbonate. When the temperature of the bath reaches 40°c the yarns or textiles to be dyed are put into the bath and the whole is slowly heated to boiling point. To make the colour brighter, the fibre can be washed in slightly acidic water, e.g. made with lemon juice. Beautiful deep yellow or orange colours can be obtained, fast to light and acids, less so to alkaline substances. Those colours were used very frequently in combination with indigo blue in the renowned ikat textiles from Yemen[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and 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.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-06-17. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Flemingia+grahamiana>

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