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Flemingia macrophylla - (Willd.) Merr.

Common Name Enoki-mame
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Along watercourses in secondary forest, as well as under drier conditions such as in fields infested with Imperata cylindrica[303 ].
Range E. Asia - southern China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Flemingia macrophylla Enoki-mame

Flemingia macrophylla Enoki-mame


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Flemingia macrophylla or Longleaf Wurrus is a woody shrub that is one of the secondary sources of ?waras?, a coarse purple or brilliant orange-brown brown Arab dye. It is about 1-4 m tall, deep-rooting, and tussock-forming. The stems have ridges and are softly hairy. The leaves are oval or sword-shaped. The flowers are in dense clusters. The fruits are oblong pods. It is commonly found along watercourses in secondary forest in East Asia. It has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria that form root nodules and fix atmospheric nitrogen. The leaves are febrifuge and used for treating postpartum fever, paralysis, and joint pains. Leaf decoction is used to bathe sores and swellings. The entire plant can be used against stomach pain. The roots can be used for ulcers and swellings. The plant is also planted as cover and shade crop and to control soil erosion.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Flemingia macrophylla is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Crotalaria macrophylla Willd. Flemingia congesta Roxb. ex W.T.Aiton Flemingia latifolia Benth. Mogha

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Seed  Seedpod
Edible Uses:

Edible portion: Leaves, Pods, Vegetable, Seeds - flavouring. The pods are eaten.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antirheumatic  Febrifuge

The leaves are febrifuge and are used for treating postpartum fever and to treat paralysis and pain in the joints[303 ]. A decoction of the leaves is used to bathe sores and swellings[303 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Cosmetic  Dye  Fencing  Fodder  Fuel  Hedge  Insecticide  Mulch  Plant support  Shelterbelt  Soil stabilization

Agroforestry Uses: The plant is grown on terraces to control soil erosion[303 ]. Used as a cover and shade crop in young plantations of cocoa, sisal, coffee, banana, plantain, oil palm and rubber; it also acts as a good windbreak[303 , 332 ]. The plant provides mulch for associated food crops. Owing to the slow decomposition of the leaves, the mulch has long-term effects in weed control, moisture conservation and reduction of soil temperature[303 ]. Flemingia mulch forms a relatively solid layer that effectively prevents germination of weed seeds or stunts their early development for 100 days[303 ]. It is grown in hedges; promising when used as a live fence. In Malaysia, it is a useful bush to plant with creeping legumes, as it provides support for them to climb on and is deep rooting[303 ]. It is grown in alley-cropping systems, used in pineapple plantations to control nematode infestation[303 ]. Grown as an understorey for the Honduras pine (Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis). Useful as a cover crop in perennial plantations[303 ]. Other Uses: One of the sources of the Arab dye called ?waras? or ?warrus?. It is a coarse purple or orange-brown powder consisting of the glandular hairs rubbed from dry Flemingia fruit; capable of dying silk but not wool or cotton, the active component is called flemingin[303 ]. The powder is used in India, the Arab world and in Africa (e.g. in Uganda, Zimbabwe and Malawi), mainly for dyeing silk and cotton a golden-yellow, but also for other purposes such as dyeing bamboo for baskets and making coloured ink[299 ]. It is also used as a cosmetic by placing a small portion of the powder in the palm of the hand and moistening it with water; the hands are then rubbed together, producing a lather of a bright gamboge colour, which is applied as required[299 ]. To prepare the dye, the powder is dissolved in the dye bath with an equal weight of sodium carbonate. When the temperature of the bath reaches 40?c the yarns or textiles to be dyed are put into the bath and the whole is slowly heated to boiling point. To make the colour brighter, the fibre can be washed in slightly acidic water, e.g. made with lemon juice. Beautiful deep yellow or orange colours can be obtained, fast to light and acids, less so to alkaline substances. Those colours were used very frequently in combination with indigo blue in the renowned ikat textiles from Yemen[299 ]. Fuel wood is a valuable by-product[303 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Coppice  Food Forest  Hedge  Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Alley crop  Agroforestry Services: Contour hedgerow  Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Fodder: Bank  Management: Coppice  Minor Global Crop

A plant of the moist to wet tropics, where it is found at elevations from sea level up to 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 28°c, but can tolerate 12 - 36°c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,300 - 2,200mm, but tolerates 1,100 - 3,500mm[418 ]. Prefers a sunny position, but is tolerant of light shade[303 , 418 ]. Capable of surviving on poorly drained soils with waterlogging[303 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 7, tolerating 4 - 8[418 ]. Established plants can tolerate fairly long dry spells[303 ]. Tolerant of up to 4 months drought a year[418 ]. Plants are moderately able to survive fires[303 ]. Good weed control is required during the first 6 months of sowing since the plants are relatively slow to establish; once established, they require little attention[303 ]. A two year old stand of plants with a spacing of 50cm x 400cm can produce about 6.8 tonnes of dry woody stems per hectare for fuel[303 ]. Plants can be cut more frequently than every 3 months, but preferably not at intervals of less than 40 days. With an excellent coppicing capacity, the shrub will survive under this cutting regime for many years[303 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[755 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Alley crop  Integrates annual crops with rows of perennials.
  • Agroforestry Services: Contour hedgerow  Alley cropping systems on the contour of slopes.
  • Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Plants that contribute to nitrogen fixation include the legume family – Fabaceae.
  • Fodder: Bank  Fodder banks are plantings of high-quality fodder species. Their goal is to maintain healthy productive animals. They can be utilized all year, but are designed to bridge the forage scarcity of annual dry seasons. Fodder bank plants are usually trees or shrubs, and often legumes. The relatively deep roots of these woody perennials allow them to reach soil nutrients and moisture not available to grasses and herbaceous plants.
  • Management: Coppice  Cut to the ground repeatedly - resprouting vigorously. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Minor Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world, but on a smaller scale than the global perennial staple and industrial crops, The annual value of a minor global crop is under $1 billion US. Examples include shea, carob, Brazil nuts and fibers such as ramie and sisal.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. When planting in a new area, seed should be sown with a suitable strain of Bradyrhizobium such as CIAT 4203 or 4215.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Bara-salpan, Batwasi, Bhalia, Birbut, Bonokandulo, Dowdowla, False saffron, Kamatteri, Korkattachedi, Lavglo, Ote garsul, Samnaskhat, bhatamase lahara, dao wa, ghunchuni , mi teptep, myuchuk, nipitmuk, ramothe, varrus, varus, yo wang.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Asia, Burma, China, East Africa, Ghana, India, Indochina, Laos, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, PNG, SE Asia, Tanzania, Vietnam, West Africa,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Expert comment


(Willd.) Merr.

Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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