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Useful Tropical Plants

Tephrosia purpurea

(L.) Pers.

Fabaceae


An extremely variable species, usually divided into a number of subspecies, though many subclassifications exist. Most characteristic is the shape of its pod: convex around the seeds with a distinctive flat area in between[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
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Year
0
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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 name T. Purpurea is often erroneously applied to the cultivated T. Noctiflora Bojer ex Baker which has longer inflorescences, a very long carinal calyx tooth and reticulately ridged seeds[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
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Year
0
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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.
].

+ Synonyms

Cracca purpurea L.

Galega piscatoria Aiton

Tephrosia canescens E.Mey.

Tephrosia delagoensis H.M.L.Forbes

Tephrosia leptostachya DC.

Tephrosia piscatoria (Aiton) Pers.

Tephrosia wallichii Graham ex Fawc. & Rendle

Common Name: Purple Tephrosia

Tephrosia purpurea
Flowering and fruiting plant
Photograph by: J.M.Garg
GNU Free Documentation License
Tephrosia purpurea Tephrosia purpurea Tephrosia purpurea

General Information

Purple tephrosia is an erect or spreading annual or short-lived perennial herb, sometimes bushy, usually growing from 40 - 80cm tall, rarely up to 1.5 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.
].
The plant has a range of traditional medicinal uses, being harvested from the wild and used locally. It is also cultivated as a green manure crop.

Known Hazards

The plant contains the rotenoid tephrosine, which stuns fish but not mammals[
417
Title
Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/index.asp
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details on over 100 species of Hawaiian plants.
]. The pounded leaves are used to stupefy and catch fish[
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.
,
417
Title
Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/index.asp
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details on over 100 species of Hawaiian plants.
].
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


Range

Probably originally native on the Indian subcontinent and China, now naturalised pantropically.

Habitat

Occurs naturally in grassy fields, waste places and thickets, on ridges, and along roadsides[
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.
]. Dry, rocky or clay soil in coastal sites, on lava fields, open areas at elevations from 5 - 610 metres in Hawaii[
417
Title
Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/index.asp
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details on over 100 species of Hawaiian plants.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitAnnual/Perennial
Height0.75 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the lowland tropics, where it is usually found at elevations up to 400 metres, occasionally as high as 1,300 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.
].
Prefers dry, gravelly or rocky and sandy soils, but in Madras (India) it grows well on loamy 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.
]. It is tolerant of saline-sodic soil conditions[
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 flowers throughout the year in Java[
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 deep rooted plant[
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.
].
T. Purpurea is associated with the vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Glomus heterosporum and Sclerocystis microcarpus in waste sites of coal mines and calcite mine spoils, and is nodulated by Rhizobium[
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.
].
Its growth is often not very luxuriant, limiting its value as a temporary shade crop or green manure. When added to the soil as green manure it increases humus content and induces the formation of large, stable soil aggregates. It produces ample seed and builds up a large seedbank in the soil[
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

The seeds are used as a substitute for coffee[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation 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.
].

The roots are used for flavouring milk[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

All parts of the plant have tonic and laxative properties[
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 dried plant is deobstruent, diuretic and useful in treating bronchitis, bilious febrile attacks and obstructions of the liver, spleen and kidneys. It is also recommended as a blood purifier, in the treatment of boils and pimples and is considered a cordial treatment[
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 fruit is given as a treatment against intestinal worms[
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 fruit extract is used to relieve bodily pains and inflammatory problems[
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 roots are bitter and anthelmintic[
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 is used as a nematicide for treatment against Toxocora canis larvae which cause a lung disease[
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 used as a treatment against dyspepsia, colic, and chronic diarrhoea[
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 pounded leaves are used as a decoction against snake-bite[
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.
].
The leaves and leaf buds are ground and mixed with salt and coconut (Cocos nucifera) as a topical treatment for cuts and itchy skin[
417
Title
Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/index.asp
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details on over 100 species of Hawaiian plants.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is used as green manure for vegetables, rice, coconut and banana[
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 grown as a green manure on saline-sodic soils in Rajastan (India), it is most successful in reducing soil salinity and lowering the pH[
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

The leaves are occasionally used to dye material orange-brown[
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 combined with Mucuna cyanosperma, a black can be obtained[
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 dry plants are collected 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.
].

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.

Propagation

Seed - easy[
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. 2019-12-16. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Tephrosia+purpurea>

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