Pueraria phaseoloides (10)
This photograph has been taken in plantations near the town of Benin City, and Forest Reserve Ologbo, Nigeria.
• Latitude: 6.087499 ° N
• Longitude: 5.605696 ° E
Its precise identification is very easy for a plant used today in many agricultural applications, although it is natural, without any transformation or genetic manipulation: it is a plant native to the Far East and known as name "kudzu". It is part of the family Fabaceae. The plant pictured here is Pueraria phaseoloides (Roxb.) Benth.
Fabaceae Lindl, 1836
This family has no less than 745 genera, divided into 19,500 distinct species, showing the extent of the family. According AGP III classification, the family consists of three major subfamilies, distinguished by the shape of their flowers (zygomorphic, non papilionaceous for Cesalpinioideae, not zygomorphic for Mimosoideae and zygomorphic papilionaceous for Faboideae).
These plants often contain a hemoprotein oxygen-fixing, mainly in specific parts of the roots, nodules. By fixing the oxygen, as does hemoglobin, it maintains an anaerobic atmosphere, allowing to the development of the bacteria Rhizobium, which will capture atmospheric nitrogen and returned to the soil and plants after mineralization (enriching effect for cropping).
• Branching: Plantae
• Sub-branch: Tracheobionta
• Division: Magnoliophyta
• Class: Magnoliopsida
• Sub-Class: Rosidae
• Order: Fabales
• Family: Fabaceae
• Sub-family: Faboideae
• Tribe: Phaseoleae
• Sub-tribe Glycininae
• Genre: Pueraria
• Species: phaseoloides
The family Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosaceae is relatively well characterized by several morphological features:
• Port General: Plants usually perennial herbaceous, sometimes perennial tall shrubs.
• Root system: Characterized by the presence, in most cases, of nodules which host symbiotic bacteria, performing the mineralization of nitrogen gas from the atmosphere.
• Leaves: Generally composed and alternate. The leaves are usually pinnate, sometimes tripinnate and more rarely, palmed. They still have stipules, sometimes resembling the leaflets. The edges of the leaflets are generally whole, sometimes indented. Frequently the leaves and leaflets are provided anatomical feature giving rise to movement when touched. The leaflets can sometimes develop into tendrils.
• Flowers: Flowers are always provided with a calyx of five sepals fused. The corolla has five petals, according to the three subfamilies (zygomorphic not papilionaceous for Caesalpinioideae, globular actinomorphic for Mimosoideae and zygomorphic papilionaceous for Faboideae). They usually include ten stamens and one ovary superior, equipped with a curved style.
• Inflorescence: usually inflorescences are indefinite. The inflorescence is sometimes reduced to a single flower.
• Fruit: ovary develops in most cases in a dehiscent pod (commonly known as "vegetable" or "bean" where came the former name of “legumes”, still commonly used, especially by non- botanists).
Description of the plant (according to the Flora of China)
• Perennial, deep-rooted, creeping and climbing, no lignified and provided with a abundant hair.
• The main stem is up to six millimeters in diameter and several meters long. It makes the roots at each node, when in contact with a humid substrate. Permanently at the nodes, many branches are emitted. They have a size up to 80 cm and they provide an abundant plant mass.
• The leaves are lobed, triangular, oval and covered with hair, and borne on stalks a few inches in length.
• The flowers are relatively small (2-3 cm), light purple to dark purple. They are like papilionacea. They give rise after fertilization in pods of six to ten inches in length. The seeds, brown-black and leathery at maturity, are small, about two millimeters in length. Each pod can contain about ten to twenty seeds.
• Plant unprotected. It is rather an invasive weed in some situations. In general, however, this plant is welcome, as an auxiliary of agronomic importance.
Origin and distribution
• Plant native of Southern China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, Hainan Island, Hong Kong), Taiwan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia , Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands.
• It was naturalized and introduced into all the humid tropics and equatorial areas.
• Soils: adaptation to a wide variety of soils, but tolerates moderately very clayey textures. Generally prefers well-drained, acidic to median. The Pueraria does not grow in soils too saline. It needs application of phosphorus and magnesium, where not available in the soil.
• Rainfall and water supply: optimum over 1500 millimeters of precipitation per year, but can adapt to lower rainfall (1000-1500 mm). The plant supports temporarily waterlogged soils and accepts temporary flooding. It can survive to a dry seasons of quatre to five months, losing much of its leaf system at that time.
• Temperature: plant does not develop properly below 12 ° C. It can occur up to 1500 meters.
• Light: Plant in full daylight, with a tendency to decline under shade.
The representatives of this family have an important role as a honey plant, attractive to pollinating insects. Therefore contributes significantly to the overall development of the plant world (and therefore of Agriculture).
Auxiliary agronomic importance:
• enhancement of fertility by atmospheric nitrogen mineralization
• fight against noxious weeds as a result of his prolific development, smothering other plants
• help against the attacks of insects of palm or coconut
• allows soil conservation and prevents the leaching by the rain
1._ Grande Flore en Couleur - Gaston Bonnier
2._ Guide des Fleurs de France et d’Europe - David Streeter, C.Hart-Davis, A.Hardcastle, F.Cole et L.Harper
3._ Flore descriptive et illustrée de la France, de la Corse et des contrées limitrophes - Abbé Coste
4._ Flora of China, Volume 17 - Xi-wen Li & Ian C. Hedge
5._ Sauvages et toxiques - Marie-Claude Paume
6._ Sauvages et comestibles - Marie-Claude Paume
7._ Sauvages et médicinales - Marie-Claude Paume
8._ Notions fondamentales de botanique générale - Marcel Guinochet
9._ Tropical forages
10._ Nombreuses publications du Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia
11._ Nombreuses publications de Incorporated Society of Planters of Malaysia
• Tela Botanica – Le réseau de la botanique francophone
• Flora of China – Volume 17
• Classification AGP III
• Tropical forages
• Wikipedia Anglais
• International Plant Name Index
Full size photograph
Le cliché en grand format, avec géolocalisation
• Camera: Canon PowerShot G12
• Objective: 30 mm
• Aperture: f/4.5
• Speed: 1 / 640
• Shooting: Automatic
• Measures: Central
• Conditions: Sunny, with undergrowth.
• Time: 11:51
• Sensitivity: ISO-125
Conditions of shooting
• Sunny weather with good illumination, aperture f/4.5 for speed 1 / 640.
• Original Size: 3648 x 2736 px
• Format: Jpeg
• Resolution: 180 dpi x 180 dpi
• Color: sRGB
• Finished format: 729X794
• Crop: 25%
• Post processing: Image processing in Olympus Studio and Corel Photo Paint (cropping, change gamma, saturation and sharpness) - Elimination of noise with Neatimage.