Rhynchosia imbricata Baker
Rhynchosia glutinosa Harms
Rhynchosia kerstingii Harms
Rhynchosia nyasica is a usually erect, though sometimes prostrate, perennial plant producing several, somewhat sticky stems that can become more or less woody and persist; it can grow 30 - 100cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Tropical Africa - Sierra Leone to southern Ethiopia, south to northern Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, avoiding areas of heavy rainfall
Grassland with scattered trees; Acacia semi-desert thicket; open woodland with Combretum collinum, C. molle, Steganotaenia araliacea, etc. on rocky outcrop; lateritic blocks on slope; savanna with Monotes kerstingii on sand; deep soil in gallery[
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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 root is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery[
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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