Thick-Stemmed Cajanus
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Thick-Stemmed Cajanus
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Thick-Stemmed Cajanus • Hindi: Jungli Baler • Oriya: ବଣ କାନ୍ଦୁଲ ban kandul
Botanical name: Cajanus crassus    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Cantharospermum volubile, Atylosia volubilis, Atylosia crassa

Thick-Stemmed Cajanus is a perennial climber, supported by trees. Branches are brownish velvet-hairy (hairs very short), round, firm, up to 10 m long. Leaves are trifoliolate, leaf-stalk 4-11 cm, axis 0.3-1 cm. Leaflets are leathery, thick, lower surface brownish velvet-hairy, also on the thick prominent ribs, glandular-dotted, upper surface dark green, thinly finely velvet-hairy; top leaflet almost trapezoid, tapering, 3.5-10 cm long, 3-9.5 cm wide, below the middle narrowing to the rounded or heart-shaped base, tip tapering- cuspidate, side leaflets obliquely so, 3.5-10 cm long, 2.5-7.5 cm wide, leaflet-stalks 2-3 mm. Flowers are borne in crowded racemes, 3-6 cm, having up to about 20 flowers, 1-2 flowers per node, flower yellow, marcescent, flower-stalks 4-10 mm, in fruit firm. Bracts are large, elliptic-ovate, tip blunt, fringed or pointed, 1.0-1.5 cm long, 6-12 mm wide, thinly velvet-hairy, falling off. Sepal-cup is velvet-hairy, not bulbous-based, tube 4-6 mm, teeth triangular, shorter than the tube, 3-5 mm, tip quite blunt, upper teeth almost entirely fused. Vexillum is obovate, 1.5-2.1 x 1.2-2.0 cm,, tip notched, base clawed. Wing obovate, base bi-eared, 15-17 mm long, 6-7 mm wide. Keel petals rounded-oblique, 16 mm long, ventrally joined. Style is about 1.2 cm. Stamens are about 1.9 cm, free. Thick-Stemmed Cajanus is found in NW Himalayan Foothills, Central India, Assam, Eastern and Western Ghats, Andamans, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Java, Philippines, Malay Peninsula. Flowering: December-March.

Identification credit: Shrikant Ingalhalikar Photographed along Gersoppa Ghat, Karnataka.

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