1. Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
    1. Lebeckia Thunb.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is S. Africa.


    Legumes of the World. Edited by G. Lewis, B. Schrire, B. MacKinder & M. Lock. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (2005)

    Shrubs or shrublets, rarely herbs (fireweeds)
    Mediterranean shrubland (mainly fynbos and renosterveld) or less often in desert, xerophytic scrubland or seasonally dry tropical to subtropical woodland, often in rocky and sandy places
    Africa (mostly in the Cape region of South Africa, extending northwards into the dry interior of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia)
    Lebeckia is closely related to Wiborgia (q.v.). The genus is morphologically diverse and distinct infrageneric groups (sections) can be recognised (Harvey 1862; Van Wyk, unpublished data); a revision and phylogenetic analysis at sectional level are in progress. Lebeckia species are remarkably similar to some shrubby Lotononis but the loss of stipules appears to be a convergent character and the accumulation of large amounts of quinolizidine alkaloids and the absence of cyanogenesis in Lebeckia are significant differences (shrubby species of Lotononis have macrocyclic pyrrolizidine alkaloids and are cyanogenic)

    The current state of knowledge of the Crotalarieae was reviewed by Van Wyk (1991a) and by Van Wyk & Schutte (1995a). The most conspicuous recent change has been the exclusion of the Argyrolobium group (six genera, i.e. Argyrolobium, Dichilus, Melolobium, Polhillia, Anarthrophyllum and Sellocharis), which belong in tribe Genisteae rather than in Crotalarieae, where they were previously placed (Polhill, 1981q: 399 –402). New insights into relationships within the tribe have come mainly from chemosystematic studies of alkaloids (summarised in Van Wyk & Verdoorn, 1990) and several recent generic monographs (see below).

    The Crotalarieae forms part of a monophyletic clade, the ‘core genistoids’ (Fig. 36) which also includes Genisteae, Podalyrieae, Thermopsideae, Brongniartieae, Euchresteae and Sophoreae sens. strict. (Crisp et al., 2000; Pennington et al., 2000a; Kajita et al., 2001). Crotalarieae appears to be sister to the Genisteae and both are sister to the Podalyrieae (Crisp et al., 2000; Wojciechowski et al., 2004). This clade is in turn sister to the Thermopsideae and Sophoreae sens. strict. (including Euchresteae).

    The Crotalarieae shares with the Podalyrieae the absence of a-pyridone alkaloids such as cytisine and anagyrine that are a typical feature of all other ‘core genistoid’ tribes. Despite a lack of defining characters, the monophyly of the tribe as circumscribed here is well supported by molecular evidence (Crisp et al., 2000; Wink & Mohamed, 2003) and by cladistic analyses of morphological, cytological and chemical characters (Van Wyk & Schutte, 1995a). The latter study suggested an early diversification of the genera with uniform anthers and lupanine-type esters of quinolizidine alkaloids (Pearsonia, Rothia and Robynsiophyton) followed by the poorly known Spartidium and then the so-called ‘Cape group of genera’ (Polhill, 1981q: 399–402), which now includes Lotononis and Crotalaria. Relationships between the seven genera of the ‘Cape group’ remains unresolved despite several recent molecular studies because sampling is still relatively poor. However, a basally branching position in the tribe of the ‘Cape group’, notably Lebeckia and Wiborgia — as considered by Polhill (1976, 1981q) — is now accepted here. The exclusion of the Argyrolobium group, based on morphological and chemical characters, is also strongly supported by DNA sequence data. Due to reticulate and overlapping patterns of character state distribution in the Crotalarieae sens. strict., generic delimitations are intricate and subject to misinterpretation. Several of the large and diverse genera appear to be either monophyletic or paraphyletic depending on the choice of characters. As currently circumscribed the tribe includes 11 genera and c. 1204 species (Fig. 37).


    Leguminosae, various authors. Flora Zambesiaca 3:7. 2003

    Shrubs or subshrubs.
    Leaves 1–3-foliolate with a distinct petiole, or apparently simple, pulvinate; leaflets needle-like to flat and broad, sometimes lacking; stipules rarely present, linear.
    Inflorescences terminal sometimes one-sided racemes, or flowers 1–few on short shoots; bracts and bracteoles small.
    Calyx with subequal often small lobes.
    Standard yellow, elliptic to oblate, sometimes with slight thickenings at the top of the claw, glabrous or hairy; keel often a little longer than the standard, curved, apically rounded to shortly and bluntly beaked.
    Stamens in a sheath open on the upper side; anthers alternately basifixed and shorter, dorsifixed (the carinal one somewhat intermediate).
    Ovary subsessile to stipitate, with fairly numerous ovules; style curved upwards, slender above the often somewhat thickened lower part; stigma terminal, small.
    Pod membranous to coriaceous, subsessile to long-stipitate, flattened or less often inflated, sometimes impressed between the seeds, linear to oblong-ellipsoid, sometimes narrowly winged on the upper margin, 3- or more seeded, dehiscent or not.
    Seeds oblong-reniform to oblique-cordiform, with a small hilum.
    Some species of Lebeckia are locally dominant and ecologically important; some are used as ornamentals and for fuelwood



    Native to:

    Cape Provinces

    Lebeckia Thunb. appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in Nov. Gen. Pl.: 139 (1800)

    Accepted by

    • le Roux, M.M. & van Wyk, B.-E. (2009). A revision of Lebeckia sect. :ebeckia: The L. pauciflora and L. wrightii groups (Fabaceae, Crotalarieae) South African Journal of Botany 75: 83-96.


    Flora Zambesiaca
    • Nov. Gen. Pl.: 139 (1800).


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Legumes of the World Online