Flemingia W.T.Aiton
Hort.Kew. 4:349 (1812)

Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Flemingia W.T.Aiton

Scientific Description
Leslie Watson, Thursday 8 September 2016

Family Papilionaceae. Phaseoleae.

Sometimes included in Leguminosae.

Habit and leaf form. Shrubs, or herbs (or subshrubs); evergreen, or deciduous; resinous. Plants unarmed. The herbs perennial. Leaves cauline. Plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves; to 0.2–1.5 m high. Self supporting (or prostrate). Leptocaul. Mesophytic. Leaves small to medium-sized; not fasciculate; alternate; spiral, or distichous; not decurrent on the stems; ‘herbaceous’, or leathery; not imbricate; petiolate, or subsessile. Petioles wingless. Leaves non-sheathing; not gland-dotted (but glandular); aromatic, or without marked odour; compound; pulvinate; ternate and palmate. Leaves palmately trifoliolate. Leaflets 3; (1.7–)2–12 cm long. Lateral leaflets more or less opposite. Leaflets stipellate (F. involucrata), or not stipellate (usually). Leaflets without swollen, glandlike stipels. Leaflets pulvinate; elliptic, or obovate; attenuate to the base, or cuneate at the base, or rounded at the base; flat; without lateral lobes. Leaf blades dorsiventral; cross-venulate. Mature leaf blades adaxially sparsely to densely hairy; abaxially sparsely to densely hairy. Leaves with stipules. Stipules intrapetiolar. Stipules not peltate. Stipules free of the petiole; free of one another; scaly, or leafy, or spiny (or subulate); caducous, or persistent. Leaf blade margins not prickly; flat. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hairs present; glandular hairs present (sessile); complex hairs absent. Branched hairs absent.

Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Floral nectaries present. Nectar secretion from the disk. Pollination mechanism conspicuously specialized.

Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; not crowded at the stem bases; in racemes, or in heads, or in panicles. Inflorescences simple, or compound. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences terminal, or axillary; terminal or axillary spikelike racemes, panicles or heads; with involucral bracts, or without involucral bracts; more or less pseudanthial (e.g. F. involucrata), or not pseudanthial. Flowers pedicellate, or subsessile; bracteate. Bracts persistent, or deciduous. Flowers bracteolate (F. lineata), or ebracteolate (usually); small to medium-sized; very irregular; zygomorphic. The floral asymmetry involving the perianth and involving the androecium. Flowers papilionaceous (imbricate-descending); basically 5 merous; tetracyclic. Floral receptacle with neither androphore nor gynophore. Free hypanthium present, or absent. Hypogynous disk present; intrastaminal. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; lobed; toothed. Calyx lobes about the same length as the tube, or markedly longer than the tube. Calyx imbricate; somewhat exceeded by the corolla; somewhat bilabiate, or unequal but not bilabiate (subequally 5-lobed, or slightly bilabiate with the median lobe of the lower lip the longest); neither appendaged nor spurred; non-fleshy; persistent; non-accrescent; with the median member anterior. Calyx lobes elliptic, or oblong, or triangular. Corolla present (rather small); 5; 1 -whorled; appendiculate. Standard appendaged (auriculate). Corolla partially gamopetalous. 2 of the petals joined, or 4 of the petals joined. The joined petals anterior. The wings of the corolla adherent to the keel (F. lineata), or free from the keel; not laterally spurred. Standard ‘normally’ developed; entire, or emarginate; not sericeous. Keel conspicuously exceeding the wings; not long-acuminate/beaked (blunt or acute); neither coiled nor spiralled; not bent and beaked (incurved, obtuse or acute). Corolla imbricate (descending); hairy abaxially (F. involucrata), or glabrous abaxially (usually); glabrous adaxially; plain; red, or pink, or purple (or mauve); deciduous; non-accrescent. Petals clawed. Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 10. Androecial sequence not determinable. Androecial members free of the perianth; all equal, or markedly unequal; coherent; 2 - adelphous (the posterior stamen free of the tube, geniculate and dilated at the knee). The staminal tube free from the keel petals. Androecial members 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 10; diplostemonous; both opposite and alternating with the corolla members; filantherous. Filaments alternately dilated below the anthers in F. involucrata. Anthers separate from one another to connivent; all alike; dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; latrorse, or introrse; tetrasporangiate. Pollen shed as single grains. Gynoecium 1 carpelled. The pistil 1 celled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. Gynoecium monomerous; of one carpel; superior. Carpel stylate; apically stigmatic. Style terete (filiform below, slightly thickened above). Style bearded via an apical tuft (F. involucrata), or hairy but not bearded, or glabrous. Stigmatic tissue terminal (mostly), or lateral (and bearded, in F. involucrata). Carpel 2 ovuled. Placentation marginal. Gynoecium median. Ovary sessile. Ovules pendulous to ascending; biseriate; arillate, or non-arillate; anatropous, or campylotropous to amphitropous, or hemianatropous.

Fruit and seed features. Fruit aerial; 6–15 mm long; non-fleshy; hairy (more or less tomentose or thinly hairy); not spinose. The fruiting carpel dehiscent; a legume. Pods somewhat elongated, or much elongated (oblique, oblong to ovate); not triangular; straight (or oblique); beaked, or not beaked; becoming inflated, or not becoming inflated; somewhat compressed, or terete; not constricted between the seeds; transversely septate between the seeds; wingless; not internally hairy. Valves of the dehisced pod not twisted. Fruit 1 celled; elastically dehiscent. Dispersal unit the seed. Fruit 1 seeded, or 2 seeded. Seeds non-endospermic; not mucous; not compressed (more or less globular); small; non-arillate; not conspicuously hairy. Cotyledons 2; accumbent. Embryo curved, or bent. Testa hard; non-operculate; smooth; conspicuously colour-patterned (mottled), or homogeneous in colour. Micropyle zigzag, or not zigzag.

Special features. Calyx limb 5 lobed. Upper lip of calyx lobed; 2 lobed. Lower lip of calyx lobed; 3 lobed.

Geography, cytology, number of species. Native of Australia. 2n=22; ploidy levels recorded 2. A genus of 30–50 species; 5 species in Western Australia.

Additional comments. F. involucrata fits poorly here.

Taxonomic Literature

  • Wheeler, J. R.; Rye, B. L.; Koch, B. L.; Wilson, A. J. G.; Western Australian Herbarium (1992). Flora of the Kimberley region. Western Australian Herbarium. Como, W.A.