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Tephrosia elongata, blom, Voortrekkermonument-NR, a.jpg
Tephrosia elongata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Millettieae
Genus: Tephrosia
Pers. 1807

See text.

  • Caulocarpus Baker f.
  • Colinil Adans.
  • Cracca L. 1753 (non Benth., nom. rej.)
  • Erebinthus Mitch.
  • Lupinophyllum Hutch.
  • Needhamia Scop. 1777
  • Ptycholobium Harms
  • Reineria Moench
  • Requienia DC.
  • Seemannantha Alef.

Tephrosia is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. The generic name is derived from the Greek word τεφρος (tephros), meaning "ash-colored," referring to the greyish tint given to the leaves by their dense trichomes.[3] Hoarypea is a common name for plants in this genus.[4]


Many species in the genus are poisonous, particularly to fish, for their high concentration of rotenone. The black seeds of Tephrosia species have historically been used by indigenous cultures as fish toxins.[5][6] In the last century, several Tephrosia species have been studied in connection with the use of rotenone as an insecticide and pesticide.

Tephrosia vogelii is also one of the many beneficial nitrogen-fixing legumes that can be used in a permaculture forest gardening system as a source of living 'chop and drop' mulch.[7]


Species include:[8]


Hybrids include:[8]

  • Tephrosia × intermedia (Small) G.L. Nesom & Zarucchi


  1. ^ "Genus: Tephrosia Pers". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  2. ^ Pedley L. (2014). "Systematics of Tephrosia Pers. (Fabaceae: Millettiae) in Queensland: 1. A summary of the classification of the genus, with the recognition of two new species allied to T. varians (F.M.Bailey) C.T.White" (PDF). Austrobaileya. 9 (2): 229–243. JSTOR 43869005. 
  3. ^ Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. IV R-Z. CRC Press. p. 2642. ISBN 978-0-8493-2678-3. 
  4. ^ "Tephrosia". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  5. ^ U.S. Food & Drug Administration (March 2006). "Results for search term "tephrosia"". FDA Poisonous Plant Database. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Retrieved 2008-01-21. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Hugh Scott, In the High Yemen, London 1942, p. 238, note C.
  7. ^ Koigi, Bob (November 2011). "Tephrosia Leaf Offers Low-Cost Tick Protection". New Agriculturalist. 
  8. ^ a b The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved January 14, 2017 

External links[edit]

Data related to Tephrosia (Plantae) at Wikispecies