DixPix Photographs

     

EASTERN AFRICA

 
     
  FLORA--   PEA FAMILY  

 

The Pea Family, Fabaceae, is huge, and of obvious economic importance.  Beyond its gifts of food, some members are natural fertilizers, fixing nitrogen from the air into a form needed by plants.  This is especially beneficial in places like Africa where commercial fertilizers are beyond the reach of many small farmers.  Other members of the family have proved to be popular garden flowers, and some are trees used for firewood or lumber.

Pages from Africa include:-   Critters       Birds        Flora        Life Overview

 

Senna spectabilis is a pantropical invasive from the Neotropics, here near Songea, Tanzania, where it tends to be called Mhomba and used as firewood.  As invasives go it is rather attractive. Click to see big picture (593x600 pixels; 171 KB)
Here are the pods of Senna spectabilis, from near Blantyre, Malawi. Click to see big picture (543x600 pixels; 108 KB)
Another invasive, this time from Asia.  Senna siamea has traveled partly because it makes good fodder and has medicinal properties.  Also the leaves and beans are edible after boiling.  It is known as Kassod Tree or as Ironwood Cassia, while here in Tanzania Mjohoro is heard. Click to see big picture (489x600 pixels; 151 KB)
Senna septemtrionalis is known as Smooth Senna, but also for some reason as the Arsenic Bush. It is Mexican by origin, but now pantropical, and here flowering by the Kapeni River in Malawi. Click to see big picture (583x600 pixels; 159 KB)
Sesbania sesban is known on the Egyptian River Hemp.  Now pantropical from Asia and Africa, it is a major forage crop.  Photo from Mbeya, Tanzania. Click to see big picture (392x600 pixels; 94 KB)
Caesalpinia decapetala is a large, thorny, invasive weed which may be blamed on India, hence the name Mysore Thorn.  It is also known as Shoo fly.  This one is near Songea in southern Tanzania. Click to see big picture (360x600 pixels; 92 KB)
Another view of Mysore Thorn and its foliage from near the town of Mbeya.  It is now pantropical and naturalized in Africa and elsewhere. Click to see big picture (353x600 pixels; 88 KB)
It is known as Whistling Thorn or Swollen Thorn, and those swellings are domatia that house vicious Mymecophyte ants that protect the plant in a symbiotic relationship.  Acacia (or Vachellia) drepandolobium is a citizen of East Africa.  Photo from near Songea, Tanzania. Click to see big picture (800x494 pixels; 123 KB)
A form of thorny tangle-pod known as Sicklebush, which is native to sub-saharan Africa, but has been planted more widely for its attractive flower and as fodder.  It has proved invasive.  Dichrostachys cinerea in Latin. Click to see big picture (634x600 pixels; 154 KB)
Albizia antunesiana may be found in the equatorial latitudes of Africa, here at Mikumi Park in Tanzania.   It is known as Purple-leaf Albizia as the young leaves are purple. Click to see big picture (607x600 pixels; 122 KB)
And here are the pods of Albizia antunesiana. Click to see big picture (567x600 pixels; 125 KB)
It is thought that Bauhinia variegata began its career in southeast Asia, but it is now pantropical. This example of the Orchid Tree is from near Arusha in Tanzania.  It is likely a garden escapee. Click to see big picture (523x600 pixels; 90 KB)
This is the flower of Baphia nitida, known by names such as African Sandlewood and Camwood.  It is a native of west-central Africa, but planted more widely as the wood is used to make a red dye. Click to see big picture (600x600 pixels; 76 KB)
Adenocarpus decorticans is known as Silver Broom, here at the botanical gardens of University of B.C.   It really shouldn't on this page as its native range is Morocco and adjacent Spain. Click to see big picture (707x600 pixels; 147 KB)
Crotalaria ochroleuca is known as the Slender-leaf Rattlebox. It is native to eastern Africa, but planted widely in the tropics for its edible leaves, and use as fiber, folk medicine and insect repellent. Photo from near Songea. Click to see big picture (410x600 pixels; 77 KB)
This also appears to be an orange Crotalaria  from Malawi.   Perhaps C. cf. Capensis. Click to see big picture (735x600 pixels; 139 KB)
This is a weed from Malawi, and it seems to be Eriosema affine, a species of eastern Africa. Click to see big picture (487x600 pixels; 105 KB)
From near the town of Mbeya in Tanzania, this is Desmodium intortum, known as the Greenleaf Desmodium.  Native to the Americas, it is now planted widely as a tropical forage, and naturalized. Click to see big picture (353x600 pixels; 72 KB)
Another look at Greenleaf Desmodium in Tanzania, this time from near Mbinga where it is known as Tengeru.. This is now pantropical, valued for nitrogen fixation, but can become invasive. Click to see big picture (408x600 pixels; 91 KB)
Canary Pea has the Latin handle of Eriosema psoraleoides. It is a species of sub-saharan Africa. Photo from near Chimwadzulu, Malawi. Click to see big picture (421x600 pixels; 96 KB)
A rather unusual sky-blue pea flower. This is Kotschya strigosa native to parts of Africa and Madagascar. Photo from Malawi. Click to see big picture (700x600 pixels; 150 KB)
Despite the lowly name of Cowpea, Vigna unguiculata is an african gift to the tropics, providing nitrogen fixation and high protein food on even poor soils.  It is grown mainly for its beans, but most parts of the plant are edible. Click to see big picture (530x600 pixels; 100 KB)
The next four photos I have not been able to identify, but maybe in the future.  This one is from Malawi. Click to see big picture (618x600 pixels; 95 KB)
With a reddish flower and an inflated pea with a hook, this example from near Songea should be distinctive. Click to see big picture (800x588 pixels; 154 KB)
From near Motomoni, Tanzania. I was told this is a caustic and poisonous vine, called Lihununa, but I may have being put on. It looks a lot like a Calopogonium forage vine. Click to see big picture (712x600 pixels; 159 KB)
Vogel's Tephrosia (Tephrosia vogelii) is native to Africa, but has been planted in many parts of the tropics as a natural pesticide and for nitrogen fixation.  Here on the Tanzania-Mozambique border, it is known as Kibazi.  But it is also known as Fish-poison Bean, and should not be planted near waterways that bear fish. Click to see big picture (632x600 pixels; 203 KB)