Dolicholus luteolus Hiern
Rhynchosia sericosemium Harms
Rhynchosia moninensis Harms
Rhynchosia verdickii De Wild.
Rhynchosia luteola is usually a robust climbing plant with twining stems, often forming a dense tangle of growth several metres long, though sometimes it is an erect subshrub just 30 - 100cm tall. The stems are covered with long sticky yellow bristly often tubercular based hairs and also shorter pubescence and small glands[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Tropical Africa - Nigeria, Angola to eastern DR Congo and southern Kenya, south to Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique
Evergreen forest margins; Brachystegia, Uapaca woodland; tall grass associations; granite rocks in grassy hill country in old cultivations; riverine woodland; lake shore swamp; Pennisetum grassland; roadsides; in thick undergrowth; 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[
Both the leaves and the root can induce contractions of the uterus and so can be used to aid the birth process for women in labour - they can also be used to bring about an abortion[
The root, usually applied in the form of the sap, is vermifuge[
The leaves are used to treat skin problems, including itch and subcutaneous parasitic infections[
We have seen no specific entry for this species, but all members of this genus have at least some merit for use as a ground cover and in local soil conservation projects[
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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