If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Tephrosia candida

DC.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Cracca candida (DC.) Kuntze

Kiesera candida (DC.) Reinw.

Kiesera sericea Blume

Robinia candida (DC.) Roxb.

Robinia sericea Sieber ex C.Presl

Xiphocarpus candidus (DC.) Endl. ex Hassk.

Xiphocarpus martinicensis C.Presl

Common Name: White Tephrosia

Tephrosia candida
Drawing of the leaves, flowers and young fruits
Photograph by: Presl, K.B., Symbolae botanicae, vol. 1: t. 7 (1832)
Creative Commons License

General Information

Tephrosia candida varies in habit from an erect herb to a shrub or small tree with straggling branches from the base; it usually grows up to 3.5 metres tall, occasionally reaching 5 metres[
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.
,
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
The plant is particularly valued in agroforestry systems where it is used for a wide variety of purposes including as a green manure crop, to control soil erosion, increase soil fertility, provide shade and shelter[
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 cultivated in many countries, especially in tropical Asia[
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 also sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens[
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.
].

Known Hazards

There are unconfirmed reports of the bark and roots being used as a fish poison[
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.
].
Powdered leaves are used as an insecticide and the bark and roots are used as fish poison in India[
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.
].
The plant contains rotenonoids and has been used traditionally as a fish poison - rotenoids kill or stun the fish making them easy to catch, but the fish remain perfectly edible for mammals. Rotenonoids are classified by the World Health Organization as moderately hazardous. They are mildly toxic to humans and other mammals, but extremely toxic to many insects (hence their use as an insecticide) and aquatic life, including fish. This higher toxicity in fish and insects is because the lipophilic rotenonoid is easily taken up through the gills or trachea, but not as easily through the skin or the gastrointestinal tract. The lowest lethal dose for a child is 143 mg/kg, but human deaths from rotenone poisoning are rare because its irritating action causes vomiting. Deliberate ingestion of rotenone, however, can be fatal.
The compound decomposes when exposed to sunlight and usually has an activity of six days in the environment.

Botanical References

1615
Title
The American Barbistyled Species of Tephrosia (Leguminosae)
Publication
Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 170, 1949
Author
Wood C.E.
Publisher
 
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
 

Range

E. Asia - India, Nepal, Bhutan.

Habitat

Primary and secondary forest, higher locations in sago-palm swamps and disturbed places such as roadsides, riverbanks, steep slopes and fields[
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
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height3.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental

Cultivation Details

A plant of the seasonally dry tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,650 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 30°c, but can tolerate 14 - 34°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 does not tolerate frost[
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 prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,400 - 1,800mm, but tolerates 700 - 2,700mm[
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, tolerating light shade[
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.
]. Grows well on sandy soils in coastal areas and on very poor, eroded upland soils and mine spoils where few other crops can grow[
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 are intolerant of waterlogged soils[
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 4.5 - 6.5, tolerating 3.5 - 7.5[
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.
]. The more acidic soils seem to be more suitable[
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.
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Tephrosia candida is a drought-tolerant, nitrogen-fixing shrub that is commonly used in agroforestry systems, especially for soil improvement and erosion control. It is also used as a green manure and in extended fallows, contour hedgerows, and as a shade and nurse tree. It has been widely introduced to many tropical regions for these purposes. Although now widespread, it is only reported as invasive in a few countries, including parts of China (Hong Kong and Hunan), Taiwan, Reunion and a few Pacific islands (Hawaii, Cook Islands, Samoa, Palau and Micronesia). It has the ability to form dense thickets, especially in disturbed areas, the resulting monocultures reducing the growth of native species[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]
White tephrosia is a deep rooting and can be slow to establish, but it grows steadily once established[
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.
]. Maximum growth normally takes place in the 2nd year after planting, but with regular pruning a dense cover can be maintained 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.
].
Annual biomass yields of about 12 - 18 tonnes per hectare can be obtained when the plant is grown with cassava, whilst 20 - 40 tonnes or more can be obtained when grown on its own[
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.
].
Flowering times vary considerably - in Malaysia it flowers all year round, but it only flowers for 2 months of the year in Vietnam[
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.
].
Over-mature pods will shatter and lose their seeds[
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[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

With its ability to fix large amounts of atmospheric nitrogen and produce a good bulk of biomass, white tephrosia is widely used in agroforestry as a green manure crop, to restore degraded land etc[
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.
]. Not only does it provide nitrogen, the plant also raises soil phosphorus and potassium levels in proportion to increased levels of organic matter[
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.
]. Soil structure improves, water-holding capacity and permeability increase, and soil losses caused by water erosion decrease[
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 can yield well on acid soils; for example, in Vietnam, green-matter content of the soil increased from 1.7 to 4%[
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.
].
White tephrosia is widely grown in mixed cultivation, for example with pineapple, maize and other annual crops, and it is said to improve the quality of tobacco. Cassava is a shade-sensitive species and needs regular lopped hedgerows, for which this is a very suitable species. It has been tried as an alley crop with cassava planted in 7-m-wide inter-rows. Preliminary results indicate a greatly increased yield of cassava and a considerable reduction of 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.
].
It makes a good nurse species and temporary shade crop when developing a woodland garden or when planting timber trees etc and can be used as a pioneer for restoring woodland[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
It is grown as a temporary shade crop in newly planted perennial crops such as citrus, coconut, coffee, rubber and tea[
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 has been used for rehabilitating degraded land[
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.
].
White tephrosia has also been used in controlling the invasive grass species Imperata cylindrica, especially after fire, since the tephrosia can grow quickly and shade out the shade-intolerant grass[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Suitable for making hedges along contours, around fields and home gardens, as it is not eaten by domestic animals such as buffaloes and goats[
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 commonly used for hedgerows, providing mulch for different upland crops[
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

Powdered leaves are used as an insecticide[
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 plant parts of many species in this genus contain rotenone-like compounds that have insecticidal properties[
1615
Title
The American Barbistyled Species of Tephrosia (Leguminosae)
Publication
Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 170, 1949
Author
Wood C.E.
Publisher
 
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. Rotenone is an isoflavone that has strong insecticidal, pesticidal and piscicidal activities, but is of relatively low toxicity to humans.

When the species becomes woody with age, it provides suitable fuel wood[
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 - soak the seed for 4 - 5 hours in warm water prior to sowing[
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 should be sown just before or during the rainy season. The germination rate of fresh seed is 95 - 100%, but viability decreases rapidly unless seeds are stored in a cool, dry place[
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.
]. When broadcasting, a planting density of 50 000-60 000/ha is aimed at, requiring 15-20 kg seed[
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.
].
Seed storage behaviour is orthodox. No loss in viability following 3 years in either open storage or hermetic storage at room temperature with 13% ± 2% mc. There are between 300 and 500 seeds/kg[
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.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-05-24. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Tephrosia+candida>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.