Desmodium tortuosum

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Desmodium tortuosum (Sw.) DC.

Fabaceae

Life form: perennial
Usage: economic plant

Exposure: sun  

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: decidious

Shape: ovate

Division: ternate

Shape: pea-shaped
Fruit: loment

40C / e7422b 

Inflorescence: raceme

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: erect

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Rosidae
Superordo:
Fabanae
Ordo:
Fabales

Desmodium tortuosum, commonly known as Florida Beggarweed, is a perennial.

Naming

Desmodium tortuosum was already described and the name validly published by Olof or Olavo Swartz. It was Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1825.

Taxonomy

Desmodium tortuosum is a species in the genus Desmodium which contains approximately 370 to 453 species and belongs to the family of the Fabaceae (Legume Family).

Characteristics

Desmodium tortuosum - habitus

Growth

The perennials reach heights of 50 to 200 centimetres, the main growing season is in spring and summer. They have a erect habit and are comparatively fast-growing.

Leaves

Desmodium tortuosum is deciduous. The dark-green, ternate leaves are alternate. The ovate leaflets are petiolate.

Flowers and Fruits

Desmodium tortuosum produces racemes of showy, salmon-red pea-shaped flowers from June to September.

From autumn to winter the perennials produce an abundance of ornamental brown loments that are persistent on the plant.

Root System

Distribution

Desmodium tortuosum is native to Florida and the West Indies.

Cultivation

The perennials prefer a sunny situation. The substrate should be comparatively poor with a pH between 5 and 7,2. The plants need a soil depth of at least 15 centimetres for good growth. They need a frost-free period of at least 17 weeks.

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: soil salinity, anaerobic soil
  • low: calcareous soil
  • high: drought

Uses

Maintenance and Propagation

Propagate by sowing.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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