Kenya Natural History Guide >>> Plants >>> Fabaceae >>> Desmodium uncinatum

Silver-leaf Desmodium
Spanish Clover

Desmodium uncinatum

Silver-leaf Desmodium, Desmodium uncinatum, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed in an agricultural area near Kitale, Kenya. December 2012.

FLOWERS: Small, delicate pink flowers are typical pea-flowers. Spikes of a dozen or so flowers occur on lateral branches.

flower detail of Desmodium uncinatum, photo © Michael Plagens segmented seed pods of Desmodium uncinatum, photo © Michael Plagens

ANNUAL or PERENNIAL: Herbaceous plant often recumbent over other nearby vegetation sometime pushing two meters in height/length.

LEAVES: Leaves are compound, with three leaflets. The central portion of each leaflet is pale, silvery. The surface is often covered with short hairs.

RANGE: This non-native plant has become a weed in many disturbed habitats and is planted for forage and nitrogen fixing. It is native to South America. Several species and hybrids of Desmodium are likely to be found through Kenya.

FRUIT: The long, curved, slender pods are constricted between each bean. The pods are covered with hooked, sticky hairs can affix the mature pod to clothing or fur thereby dispersing the seeds.

UNARMED. No thorns.

Fabaceae -- Bean Family -- Papionoideae - Typical Bean Sub-Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 01 February 2013,
updated 11 April 2017.