Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Desmodium macrocarpum Domin

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
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Herbarium specimen. © CSIRO

Domin, K. (1928) Bibliotheca Botanica 89: 768. Type: Queensland: durre Savannenwälder bei Jericho (DOMIN III. 1910).

Common name

Large-podded trefoil


Subshrub up to 50 cm tall; branchlets with dense indumentum of stiff hairs; stipules ovate, 5-6 x 2.8-3 mm, longitudinally veined, pubescent.


Leaves 1 to rarely 3-foliolate; petiole 25-50 mm long; leaflets ovate to rhombic, obtuse, mucronolate at the apex, truncate to subcordate at the base, stiff hairs on surfaces; terminal leaflets 25-30 x 20-40 mm, stipels 2.5-4 mm long, setaceous. Lateral veins 7-8 on each side of the midrib. Stipules narrowly triangular, 4-5 x 1-2 mm, hairy.


Inflorescence up to 200 mm long, fascicles of 2 flowers; primary bracts similar to the stipules; pedicels 2-3 mm long. Flowers white to pale mauve; calyx 4-lobed, ca. 4 mm long, pubescent; standard orbicular, tapered to the base, 6-6.5 x 6.5-7 mm; wings 6-6.5 x 2-3 mm; keel petals ca. length of wings; stamens diadelphous; ovary with dense indumentum of short hairs.


Pod straight with up to 4 articles, ca. triangular, 9-10 x 5-6 mm, with dense indumentum of short stiff hairs. Seed smooth, brown, ca. oblong, 5-6 x 3-3.5 mm, with a distinct rim aril.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQCEQ and southwards to south eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from 190-900 m. Grows in open Eucalypt forest, in vine thicket and Eucalypt woodland.

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