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Useful Temperate Plants

Tephrosia florida

(F.Dietr.) C.E.Wood

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Cracca ambigua (M.A.Curtis) Kuntze

Cracca gracillima (B.L.Rob.) A.Heller

Galega florida F.G.Dietr.

Tephrosia ambigua (M.A.Curtis) Kuntze

Cracca angustissima (Chapm.) Kuntze

Galega ambigua M.A.Curtis

Galega argentea Lam.

Galega villosa Michx.

Tephrosia gracillima (B.L.Robs.) Killip

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Tephrosia florida is a prostrate to erect, herbaceous perennial plant growing from a woody taprot; it can produce stems up to 60cm long[
1615
Title
The American Barbistyled Species of Tephrosia (Leguminosae)
Publication
Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 170, 1949
Author
Wood C.E.
Publisher
 
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. The plant contains compounds with insecticidal properties[
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
,
1615
Title
The American Barbistyled Species of Tephrosia (Leguminosae)
Publication
Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 170, 1949
Author
Wood C.E.
Publisher
 
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Known Hazards

The plant contains rotenonoids and has been used traditionally as a fish poison - rotenoids kill or stun the fish making them easy to catch, but the fish remain perfectly edible for mammals. Rotenonoids are classified by the World Health Organization as moderately hazardous. They are mildly toxic to humans and other mammals, but extremely toxic to many insects (hence their use as an insecticide) and aquatic life, including fish. This higher toxicity in fish and insects is because the lipophilic rotenonoid is easily taken up through the gills or trachea, but not as easily through the skin or the gastrointestinal tract. The lowest lethal dose for a child is 143 mg/kg, but human deaths from rotenone poisoning are rare because its irritating action causes vomiting. Deliberate ingestion of rotenone, however, can be fatal.
The compound decomposes when exposed to sunlight and usually has an activity of six days in the environment.

Botanical References

1615
Title
The American Barbistyled Species of Tephrosia (Leguminosae)
Publication
Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 170, 1949
Author
Wood C.E.
Publisher
 
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
 

Range

Southeast N. America - Virginia to Florida, west to Louisiana

Habitat

Well-drained, usually open, light, sandy, acid soils in pine and oak woods and barrens on the Coastal Plain[
1615
Title
The American Barbistyled Species of Tephrosia (Leguminosae)
Publication
Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 170, 1949
Author
Wood C.E.
Publisher
 
Year
1949
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *
HabitPerennial
Height0.50 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Not known

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

A decoction of the beaten roots is applied topically to sores[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].
An infusion of the roots is applied to snake bites[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Other Uses

Many species in this genus contain rotenone-like compounds in their roots and aerial parts. Rotenone is an isoflavone that has strong insecticidal, pesticidal and piscicidal activities, but is of relatively low toxicity to humans.

Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in a greenhouse in spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out in the following spring or early summer.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2020-09-21. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Tephrosia+florida>

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