Issue 67: Legume bibliography under the spotlight

A taxonomic revision of Flemingia (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae) in India

Sandip K. Gavade

Angiosperm Taxonomy Laboratory, Department of Botany, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, India


Finally a taxonomic revision of the genus Flemingia in India has been published. I started working on Indian Flemingia in 2014 under the guidance of Dr. M.M. Lekhak (SUK), Maharashtra, India as a part of my doctoral studies. During the work we collaborated with Prof. L.J.G. van der Maesen from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, the Netherlands. I collected 24 species and one variety of the 29 taxa reported in India and living material is being maintained in the Botanic Garden, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, with voucher specimens deposited in SUK. The present work is an outcome of the taxonomic study conducted over more than nine years. A revision of subg. Rhynchosioides had been published earlier (Gavade et al. 2019) and hence is not a part of the present publication.

From the abstract: Indian Flemingia species are grouped under five subgenera, namely Chalaria, Flemingiastrum, Lepidocoma, Ostryodium and Rhynchosioides. In the present work, we revised the taxonomy of the genus (excluding subg. Rhynchosioides) based on the study of live material and preserved specimens. We reported 21 species and one variety (22 taxa) in India, of which one variety is endemic, i.e. F. praecox var. robusta. All the taxa have been described, illustrated and their ecology discussed. In the process, twelve binomials (F. angustifolia, F. blancoana, F. chappar, F. congesta, F. grahamiana, F. latifolia, F. macrophylla, F. nudiflora, F. paniculata, F. stricta, F. wallichii and F. wightiana) and one trinomial (F. praecox var. robusta) are lectotypified. Flemingia sericans and F. stricta subsp. pteropus are proposed as new synonyms for F. macrophylla and F. stricta, respectively. Flemingia parviflora, an Australian species, is recorded for India for the first time. Flemingia strobilifera var. nudiflora is raised to species level and a new combination proposed, i.e. F. nudiflora. Flemingia tiliacea is relegated to the synonymy of F. nudiflora. A taxonomic key for the subgenera and species analysed is provided for easy identification. Additionally, distributional maps for the genus and species are presented. Line drawings are included for each species, and colour photographs embellish the paper.

Clockwise from top left: Flemingia grahamiana, F. paniculata, F. procumbens & F. semialata, all photos, Dr. M.M. Lekhak.

Gavade, S.K., van der Maesen, L.J.G., Lekhak, M.M. 2020. Taxonomic revision of the genus Flemingia (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae) in India. Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography (Webbia) 75: 141-218.

Gavade, S.K., Surveswaran, S., van der Maesen, L.J.G., Lekhak, M.M. 2019. Taxonomic revision and molecular phylogeny of Flemingia subgenus Rhynchosioides (Leguminosae). Blumea 64: 253–271.