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ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: चिकटा Chikta (Marathi), Asud
Botanical name: Bouffordia dichotoma    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Desmodium dichotomum, Hedysarum dichotomu, Desmodium diffusum

Chikta is an erect herb, growing up to 60 cm high. The stout stem is deeply grooved and covered with white, soft, long hairs. Alternately arranged leaves are divided into 3 oblong hairy leaflets, 3-8 cm long. Flowers occur in racemes upto a foot long, either at the end of branches, or at the leaf axils. Purple flowers are typical pea-shaped, and turn blue when fading. Pods 1-2 cm, straight, 3-6 jointed, covered with hooked hairs, which gives it the Marathi local name. Flowering: September-November.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed at Rajiv Gandhi Prani Sangrahalaya, Pune.

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