African Wisteria Tree
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African Wisteria Tree
D Introduced Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: African Wisteria Tree, Rhodesian Wisteria Tree, Wild Wisteria
Botanical name: Bolusanthus speciosus    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Lonchocarpus speciosus

African Wisteria Tree is small to medium-sized tree is deciduous, dropping its leaves only for a short period in early spring. The tree is normally multi-stemmed, but it can be pruned to form a single stem. The bark of the stem is brownish grey, rough and deeply fissured. Leaves, which are spirally arranged, are suspended from drooping branches. Leaves are alternate, compound with up to 7 leaflet pairs and a terminal leaflet. Leaflets are lanceshaped, shiny green above and duller below. The drooping, blue-mauve, fragrant, pea-like flowers hang from the branches in bunches, often covering the whole tree. Flowering time is from August to January (spring and early summer). Flowers are followed by papery, brown fruit pods, that hang from the branches in clusters, and never split to release their seeds. African Wisteria Tree is widespread in wooded grasslands in southern Africa, from Angola and Zambia down to KwaZulu-Natal.

Identification credit: Aarti Khale Photographed in Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Bangalore.

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