Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Calopogonium mucunoides Desv.

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Fabales
Family:Fabaceae
Genus:Calopogonium
Species:C. mucunoides
Status:Naturalised

Description

This is a creeping, twining or trailing herb of several m long, forming a tangled mass of foliage. Leaves are trifoliate, with a left stalk of up to 16 cm long. Leaflets are elliptic or ovate, 4-10 x 2-5 cm, hairy on both surfaces. Inflorescence a slender raceme that grows to 20 cm long. Flowers are blue or purple and pods straight or curved, 2-4 x 0.35-0.5 cm with short hairs, impressed between the 3-8 seeds which are squarish and compressed.

Read more about the Fabales order.
Read more about the Fabaceae family.

Distribution

Native to tropical America and the West Indies, it spreads to tropical Africa and Asia.

Localities

Changi, Kranji Marshes, Lorong Halus, Pulau Semakau, Pulau Ubin, Tanah Merah

Ecological Role

As a legume, the plant helps to improve soil fertility with its nitrogen-fixing bacteria found in the root nodules. A vauable pioneer legume that helps in erosion control.

Human Uses

Grown as a green manure and cover crop, it is used as a forage for animals.

References

Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

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