Sticky Stylo
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Sticky Stylo
P Naturalized Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Sticky Stylo, Poorman's friend, Viscid Pencil-flower
Botanical name: Stylosanthes viscosa    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Stylosanthes prostrata, Astyposanthes viscosa

Sticky Stylo is an ascending and spreading or prostrate and matted, much-branched, perennial legume. Stems are up to 1 m long, densely velvet-hairy with short sticky pin head like glandular hairs secreting a very pleasant smell. Leaves are trifoliate. Leaflets are up to 2.5 cm long, 5 mm wide but usually much smaller, pointed or blunt, dotted beneath, shortly hairy or bristlyulous, with two to four pairs of prominent veins. Leaf-stalks are 2.5-5.0 mm long, bristlyulous, sticky. Rachis is 1-2 mm long. Sheath of the stipules 3.5-5.5 mm long, 1-2 mm longer than the teeth, bristlyulous and sticky on the back, 3-5-nerved. Inflorescence is a small, crowded ovoid spike, two- to five-flowered. Outer bracts usually trifoliate. Inner bract unifoliate, the sheath equaling or slightly exceeding the teeth, bristlyulous and sticky on the back, five- to seven-nerved. Sepal tube is 3-7 mm long, hairless to velvet-hairy. Standard petal is nearly circular, 4-7 mm long. Wings 4-5 mm long, eared, spurred within at the base. Keel petals are 3-4 mm long, sickle shaped. Loment u[ to 2.5 mm long, shortly hairy, netveinedly nerved. Beak short, less than half as long as the upper articulation, usually from one-third to one-quarter as long, shortly hairy, strongly uncinate, often coiled. Sticky Stylo is native to Mexico, Central and South America, naturalized in parts of Asia.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Vellore, Tamil Nadu.

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