This week we’re focusing on a member of the Leguminosae (Pea) family.
Lessertia thodei is a perennial herb whose stems grow to 200 mm long. One will find this herbaceous species in moist grassland areas often in close proximity to seeplines and rocky flats at altitudes of 2100-2900 m A.S.L. It is also an endemic to the EMR, occurring from the Free State to Mpumalanga.
The pods are characteristic of the Pea family and are visible from late spring through summer.
The leaves of L. thodeiare hairless, in contrast with those of the similar spp., found growing in the region, such as L. depressa. The leaflets measure approx. 7mm X 3mm and occur in pairs of 5-9 and bear rounded tips. The inflorescence measures 30-75mm and individual flowers measure 10mm. Flowering occurs from Nov-Feb.
An altogether attractive plant, it may find a suitable position in the garden as a hedge or pruned to form an ornate pathway through the garden.
Article and photography by Damien Coulson
Head ranger: Clarens Village Nature Reserve
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