Fringed Smithia
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Fringed Smithia
ative Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: Fringed Smithia
Botanical name: Smithia ciliata    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Smithia cavaleriei, Smithia coerulescens, Smithia pumila

Fringed Smithia is an annual herb, 0.5-2 ft tall. Stems and branchlets are slen­der, hairless. Stipules are lanceshaped, about 8 mm, membranous. Leaves are compound with 10-14-leaflets, carried on 1.5-2 cm long stalks. Ra­chis is 1.5-3 cm, stalks of leaflets less than 1 mm. Leaflets are inverted-lanceshaped to linear-oblong, 6-12 × 2-4 mm, tip blunt to rounded. Flowers are borne in scorpioid cymes, often with 12 or more flowers in cluster, in leaf axils or at branch ends. Bracts are stipule-shaped, almost as long as sepal-cup, margin frilly. Bracteoles are lanceshaped, 4-5 mm, with trichomes. Sepal-cup 4-8 mm, membranous, with reticulate veins, margin densely setose. Flowers are yellow or white, slightly longer than sepal-cup; standard petal is obovate, about 5 mm wide; wings and keels small, straight, eared. Pods are shortly stipitate, divided into 6-8 articles; articles almost spherical, 1-1.5 mm, densely papillate. Fringed Smithia is found in the Himalayas, from Shimla to Sikkim, Khasia mountains, SE Asia, China and Japan at altitudes of 1200-2800 m. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed on Mussoorie-Chakrata Road, Uttarakhand.

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