Gambia Pea
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Gambia Pea
A Naturalized Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Gambia Pea, Gamba Pea
Botanical name: Crotalaria goreensis    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Crotalaria falcata, Crotalaria guineensis, Crotalaria macrostipula

Gambia Pea is an erect, annual herb, up to 2.5 m high; stems densely velvet-hairy with appressed hairs. Flowers are borne in racemes at branch-ends, up to 6 cm long. Flowers are many, crowded at the top; bracts subulate or thread-like, 3-4 mm long, early falling off. Petals are yellow; vexillum ovate, about 0.9 x 0.6 cm, with prominent reddish vein, hairless outside, slightly shorter than the keel; wing petals oblong, about 1 x 0.3 cm; keel petals about 0.9 x 0.5 cm, with a distinct straight beak and with a prominent band of hairs along the upper margins and not twisted. Sepal-cup is 4-5 mm long, velvet-hairy, lobes subulate triangular, more or less equal to the tube. Leaves are alternate, 3-foliolate; leaflets 2.5-8.5 x 0.8-2.5 cm, linear-inverted-lanceshaped or obovate, sparsely adpressed velvet-hairy on the lower surface, variable, the at branch-ends usually slightly longer than the laterals; leaf-stalks 3.5-8.0 cm long; stipules oblong-sickle shaped, 0.9-2.5 x 0.3-0.7 cm, tapering, very unequal-sided. Pods nearly stalkless, oblong-ellipsoid, 1.5-2.0 x 0.7-0.9 cm, thinly velvet-hairy, blackish-brown; seeds 12-16, oblong-kidney-shaped, about 4 mm long, yellow, usually tinged orange red. Gambia Pea is native to Tropical Africa, naturalized in India.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed at Yelahanka, Bengaluru.

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