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Useful Tropical Plants

Flemingia macrophylla

(Willd.) Merr.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Crotalaria macrophylla Willd.

Flemingia congesta Roxb. ex W.T.Aiton

Flemingia latifolia Benth.

Moghania macrophylla (Willd.) Kuntze

Maughania macrophylla (Willd.) Kuntze

Maughania ferruginea (Wall. ex Benth.) H.L.Li

Flemingia ferruginea Wall. ex Benth.

Common Name:

Flemingia macrophylla
Leaves
Photograph by: Ahmad Fuad Morad
Creative Commons License
Flemingia macrophylla Flemingia macrophylla Flemingia macrophylla Flemingia macrophylla Flemingia macrophylla

General Information

Flemingia macrophylla is a shrub producing a cluster of prostrate to erect stems from a deep taproot; it can grow 1 - 4 metres tall[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
This species is one of the secondary sources of a very popular Arab dye called 'waras', 'wars' or 'warus. Waras is a coarse purple or brilliant orange-brown powder. The plant is sometimes cultivated for green manure, to provide shade for plantations and to stabilize the soil.

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.

Range

E. Asia - southern China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia.

Habitat

Along watercourses in secondary forest, as well as under drier conditions such as in fields infested with Imperata cylindrica[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitShrub
Height3.00 m
PollinatorsBees, Insects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the moist to wet tropics, where it is found at elevations from sea level up to 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 28°c, but can tolerate 12 - 36°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,300 - 2,200mm, but tolerates 1,100 - 3,500mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Prefers a sunny position, but is tolerant of light shade[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Capable of surviving on poorly drained soils with waterlogging[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 7, tolerating 4 - 8[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Established plants can tolerate fairly long dry spells[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Tolerant of up to 4 months drought a year[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Often cultivated as a green manure and dye plant, it has been introduced into many areas outside its native range. It sometimes escapes from cultivation and becomes naturalized - in some Pacific Islands, including the Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga, it is reported to be invasive[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
Plants are moderately able to survive fires[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Good weed control is required during the first 6 months of sowing since the plants are relatively slow to establish; once established, they require little attention[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
A two year old stand of plants with a spacing of 50cm x 400cm can produce about 6.8 tonnes of dry woody stems per hectare for fuel[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Plants can be cut more frequently than every 3 months, but preferably not at intervals of less than 40 days. With an excellent coppicing capacity, the shrub will survive under this cutting regime for many years[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
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 leaves are sometimes eaten[
298
Title
Edible Leaves of the Tropics
Publication
 
Author
Martin. F. W.; Ruberte. R. M. & Meitzner. L. S.
Publisher
Echo. USA.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9653360-1-8
Description
A terse guide, giving reasonable detail on the more common leaf crops and brief information on a wide range of lesser known plants.
].

Medicinal

The leaves are febrifuge and are used for treating postpartum fever and to treat paralysis and pain in the joints[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
A decoction of the leaves is used to bathe sores and swellings[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The entire plant is given to relieve stomach-ache[
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.
].

A decoction of the root is drunk as a treatment for spermatorrhoea[
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 roots are pounded to a paste and applied externally to ulcers and swellings, especially of the neck[
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
,
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
 
]. A decoction is used to bathe swellings and sores[
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.
].

Warrus, (a dull purplish resinous powder rubbed off the dry fruits), is used as an anthelmintic and as a remedy for coughs and chills[
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 is grown as a hedge on terraces to control soil erosion[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
].
Used as a cover and shade crop in young plantations of cocoa, sisal, coffee, banana, plantain, oil palm and rubber; it also acts as a good windbreak[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].
The plant provides mulch for associated food crops. Owing to the slow decomposition of the leaves, the mulch has long-term effects in weed control, moisture conservation and reduction of soil temperature[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Flemingia mulch forms a relatively solid layer that effectively prevents germination of weed seeds or stunts their early development for 100 days[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
It is grown in hedges; promising when used as a live fence. In Malaysia, it is a useful bush to plant with creeping legumes, as it provides support for them to climb on and is deep rooting[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
It is grown in alley-cropping systems, used in pineapple plantations to control nematode infestation[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Grown as an understorey for the Honduras pine (Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis). Useful as a cover crop in perennial plantations[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Other Uses

One of the sources of the Arab dye called ‘waras’ or ‘warrus’. It is a coarse purple or orange-brown powder consisting of the glandular hairs rubbed from dry Flemingia fruit; capable of dying silk but not wool or cotton, the active component is called flemingin[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. 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[
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.
].
It 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.
].
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.
].

Fuel wood is a valuable by-product[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

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.
When planting in a new area, seed should be sown with a suitable strain of Bradyrhizobium such as CIAT 4203 or 4215.
Cuttings[
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.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-06-24. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Flemingia+macrophylla>

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