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Manual of the New Zealand Flora.

6. Canavalia, D.C

6. Canavalia, D.C.

Climbing or prostrate herbs, often of large size. Leaves 3-foliolate, stipellate. Flowers rather large, in axillary racemes. Calyx-limb 2-lipped; the upper lip large and projecting, entire or 2-lobed; the lower shortly 3-toothed. Standard broad, reflexed; wings shorter, oblong or linear, falcate or twisted; keel incurved, obtuse or obtusely rostrate. Stamens all connate into a tube; anthers uniform. Ovary shortly stipitate; ovules numerous; style filiform, beardless; stigma terminal. Pod large, oblong or linear, 2-valved, with a distinct rib on each valve near the upper suture. Seeds rounded or oblong, compressed; hilum linear.

Species about 12; 2 or 3 of them, including the New Zealand one, widely spread in the tropics, the remainder mostly American.

  • 1. C. obtusifolia, D.C. Prodr. ii. 404.—Stems long, trailing, glabrous or the young shoots silky-pubescent. Leaflets 2–4 in. long, broadly obovate or orbicular, obtuse or emarginate, texture firm. Racemes few-flowered, on stout erect peduncles 6–10 in. long, usually overtopping the leaves. Flowers pinkish. Standard orbicular, ¾ in. diam. Pod 4–5 in. long by 1 in. broad, the longitudinal wings very narrow. Seeds 2–8.—Benth. Fl. Austral. ii. 256; Kirk, Students' Fl. 121.

    Kermadec Islands: Scrambling over rocks and shrubs on Meyer Island, T. F. C. A common plant on the shores of almost all tropical countries.