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Lotononis bainesii

Description from Flora of China

Herbs, perennial, prostrate, mat-forming, 0.3-1.8 m wide. Stems slender, decumbent, branching and rooting at nodes, glabrous or sparsely puberulent. Stipules ovate, 4-10 mm, one smaller than other, base auriculate, apex acute. Leaves 3-folio­late, apical one larger; petiole 6-7.5 mm; leaflet blades linear-elliptic to lanceolate, 1.5-4 × 0.6-1 cm, glabrous or sparsely puberulent, base cuneate, apex rounded and mucronate. Inflo­rescences umbellate heads, 8-12-flowered; bracts and brac­teoles minute, inconspicuous; peduncle to 25 cm. Flowers ses­sile. Calyx 3-4 mm. Corolla bright yellow, ca. 1 cm; standard orbicular to oblong, long clawed; wings obliquely ovate to oblong; keel 8-9 mm, incurved and obtuse, longer than standard. Legume linear, 7-12 × 2-3 mm, white villous, with a curved beak. Seeds ca. 1 mm in diam.

Lotononis bainesii is widely grown as a fodder crop. It is particu­larly suitable for red lateritic soils.

Cultivated in Taiwan [native to S Africa].


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