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Oval-Leaf Tick Trefoil
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Oval-Leaf Tick Trefoil
A Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Oval-Leaf Tick Trefoil
Botanical name: Grona heterocarpos subsp. ovalifolia    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Desmodium ovalifolium, Desmodium polycarpon var. ovalifolium

Oval-Leaf Tick Trefoil is an annual creeping herb, up to 2 ft, much branched with woody base. Stem is erect or occasionally trailing, round, striped, densely pubescence, brown, rooting at nodes. Leaves are unifoliate or trifoliate, ovate, elliptic, oblong or obovate, above hairless, glossy, below pale green, base rounded, tip blunt, with a short sharp point, 3-4.5 x 2.5-3 cm; leaf-stalk 2 cm long; stipules, striped, tapering or with a tail at tip, sparsely velvet-hairy outside, hairless inside, falling off, lanceshaped; leaf-stalk 3.5-6.5 cm long including 4-6 mm long. Flowers are borne in pseudo-racemes at branch-ends, 2-3 cm, axis brown, spreading, hairy straight, densely flowered, flower-cluster-stalk 5 mm long; sepal-cup bell-shaped, tube and sepals sparsely bulbous based hairless outside, tube about 2 mm long, 4 lobed, upper lobed slightly 2 toothed at tip. Flowers are purple, purple red, about 5 mm long, standard petal obovate-oblong, shortly clawed; wings obovate, eared, clawed; keel extremely curved, tip blunt. Pods are erect, narrowly oblong, 1-1.5 cm x 3-5 mm, upper margin shallowly wavy, margins hooked hairy, 4-5 jointed. Seeds are brown, compressed, ellipsoid. Oval-Leaf Tick Trefoil is found in S. China, Indo-China to Central Malesia and Andaman.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed at Mount Harriet, Andaman.

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