Canavalia (Phaseoleae, Fabaceae) species in South Africa: Naturalised and indigenous

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Results from a taxonomic study of the genus Canavalia in South Africa is presented. The genus belongs to the recently recircumscribed tribe Diocleae (previously subtribe Diocleinae). Canavalia is currently divided into four subgenera: Canavalia, Catodonia, Maunaloa and Wenderothia. There are four species of subgenus Canavalia in South Africa namely C. africana, C. ensiformis, C. gladiata and C. rosea. Canavalia subg. Catodonia is a New World subgenus but is represented by one species C. bonariensis, which has a peculiar disjunct distribution occurring in South America, South Africa and Madagascar. Canavalia subg. Wenderothia is a New World subgenus while C. subg. Maunaloa is restricted to Hawaii. The correct nomenclature, complete synonymy, distribution ranges, as well as some typification are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-16
Number of pages11
JournalSouth African Journal of Botany
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Core-Milletteae
  • Diocleae
  • Diocleinae
  • Leguminosae
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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