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Pterolobium stellatum

Redwing, Pterolobium stellatum, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed on a rocky, sloped pastureland near Eldoret, Kenya. November 2012.

FLOWERS: The flowers have five, small petals, are cream-white and are borne in spike clusters.

SHRUB: Long slender branches scramble up, through and over other plants, the numerous recurved spines acting as grappling hooks.

LEAVES: Leaves are twice compound with numerous small leaflets.

RANGE: This native plant is widespread in eastern Africa, occurring on slopes, flood plains and other disturbed sites.

FRUIT: The bean pods are flat and papery with the bean located at the attachment end; the result is a winged samara that resembles a maple seed. The bright pink sprays resemble flowers when seen from a distance.

ARMED. Sharp, slightly recurved spines are on the branches and on the underside of the leaf rachises.

Fabaceae -- Bean Family -- Caesalpinioideae - Senna Sub-Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 29 April 2013