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Genus Tephrosia Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Faboideae

Synonyms: Paratephrosia APNI*

Description: Herbaceous shrubs.

Leaves alternate, imparipinnate [or rarely leaflets reduced to 1]; leaflets with numerous lateral veins ± parallel to each other extending to the margins, shortly petiolulate.

Flowers paired or clustered, usually in terminal or leaf-opposed racemes; bracteoles absent. Calyx teeth ± equal. Standard nearly circular, hairy. Stamens usually diadelphous. Ovary sessile.

Pods linear, ± compressed, dehiscent; seeds usually many, reniform to globose, arillate.

Flowering: Most species flower spring to summer.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 300 spp., trop. & subtrop. regions. Aust.: c. 60 spp. (mostly endemic, 9 spp. naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., N.T., S.A., mainly trop. & arid regions.

Text by Harden
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Tephrosia rufula

 Key to the species 
1Erect plants, >50 cm high; flowers >12 mm long; pods glabrous or hairy only along sutures.2
Prostrate or erect plants, <50 cm high; flowers <12 mm long; pods covered with hairs, sometimes sparsely so or ± glabrescent with age.4
2Stipules subulate to lanceolate, 4–5 mm long.Tephrosia inandensis
Stipules ovate to broad-ovate, 6–10 mm long.
                       Back to 1
3Calyx rusty- to golden-hairy, teeth 2–3 mm long, subulate, apex tapering; pods pubescent along sutures.Tephrosia grandiflora
Calyx silvery- to white-hairy, teeth <2 mm long, triangular, apex subacute; pods bristly along sutures.
                       Back to 2
Tephrosia glomeruliflora
4Flowers pink to purple or red; leaves ± concolorous, lower surface hairy but not silky.5
Flowers orange, yellow to greenish; leaves discolorous, lower surface silky.
                       Back to 1
5Leaflets linear to oblanceolate, <15 mm long, apex acute and often recurved.Tephrosia filipes
Leaflets narrow-elliptic or narrow-lanceolate to oblong or cuneate, >15 mm long, apex acute, obtuse or mucronate.
                       Back to 4
6Calyx >3.5 mm long; apex of leaflets acute.Tephrosia bidwillii
Calyx <3.5 mm long: apex of leaflets obtuse to mucronate.
                       Back to 5
Tephrosia brachyodon
7Leaflets linear to lanceolate 20–70 mm long.Tephrosia sphaerospora
Leaflets oblanceolate to obovate 8–20 mm long.
                       Back to 4
Tephrosia supina

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