Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Flemingia macrophylla
(large leaf flemingia)



Flemingia macrophylla (large leaf flemingia)


  • Last modified
  • 04 December 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Flemingia macrophylla
  • Preferred Common Name
  • large leaf flemingia
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Native to South and South-East Asia, F. macrophylla has been widely introduced as a valuable, fast growing and nitrogen fixing agroforestry shrub or small tree for fodder and soil conservation and improvement....

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report


Top of page
Plantation for breeding lac insect in Yunnan, China.
CaptionPlantation for breeding lac insect in Yunnan, China.
CopyrightYu Jie
Plantation for breeding lac insect in Yunnan, China.
HabitPlantation for breeding lac insect in Yunnan, China.Yu Jie
An important host plant of lac insects in Yunnan, China.
CaptionAn important host plant of lac insects in Yunnan, China.
CopyrightYu Jie
An important host plant of lac insects in Yunnan, China.
HabitAn important host plant of lac insects in Yunnan, China.Yu Jie
1. flowering branch
2. fruiting branch
TitleLine artwork
Caption1. flowering branch 2. fruiting branch
CopyrightPROSEA Foundation
1. flowering branch
2. fruiting branch
Line artwork1. flowering branch 2. fruiting branchPROSEA Foundation


Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Flemingia macrophylla (Willd.) Merr.

Preferred Common Name

  • large leaf flemingia

Other Scientific Names

  • Crotalaria macrophylla Willd.
  • Flemingia angustifolia Roxb.
  • Flemingia bhottea Buch.-Ham.
  • Flemingia capitata Buch.-Ham.
  • Flemingia congesta Roxb. ex Aiton & W. T. Aiton
  • Flemingia cumingiana Benth.
  • Flemingia ferruginea Graham
  • Flemingia lamontii Hance
  • Flemingia latifolia Benth.
  • Flemingia nana Roxb.
  • Flemingia philippinensis Merr. & Rolfe
  • Flemingia semialata Roxb.
  • Flemingia stricta Wall.
  • Flemingia teysmanniana Miq
  • Flemingia trinerva Desf.
  • Flemingia wallichii Wight & Arn.
  • Flemingia wightiana Graham
  • Flemingia yunnanensis Franch
  • Moghania cumingiana (Benth.) Kuntze
  • Moghania latifolia (Benth.) Mukerjee
  • Moghania macrophylla (Willd.) Kuntze
  • Moghania philippinensis (Merr. & Rolfe) H.L. Li
  • Moghania semialata (W.T. Aiton) Mukerjee
  • Moghania sericans (Kurz) Mukerjee
  • Moghania teysmanniana (Miq.) H.L. Li
  • Moghania wallichii (Wight & Arn.) Kuntze
  • Rhynchosia crotalarioides DC.

International Common Names

  • Chinese: da ye qian jin ba ; da'yeqianjinba; jia'yanpiguo; niudexun; qianjinhong

Local Common Names

  • Bangladesh: barasalpan; charchara; dalia
  • India: basa-salpan; bhalia; bisbut; samnaskahat
  • Indonesia: apa apa; hahapaan; pok-kepokan
  • Japan: enoki-mame
  • Laos: hom sam muang; ko dok kam; thoua huat
  • Malaysia: beringan; serenganjantan
  • Nepal: batwasi; kamatteri
  • Pakistan: wal-undu
  • Philippines: gewawini; laclay-guinan; malabalatong
  • Thailand: khamin ling; khamin naag; mahae-nok
  • Vietnam: cay dau ma; cay duoi chon

EPPO code

  • FLEMA (Flemingia macrophylla)

Trade name

  • waras tree
  • warrus tree

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page

Native to South and South-East Asia, F. macrophylla has been widely introduced as a valuable, fast growing and nitrogen fixing agroforestry shrub or small tree for fodder and soil conservation and improvement. It tolerates shade and many soil conditions, and may be able to exploit many different habitats and form monocultures, producing seed within 6-7 months from planting. It resprouts vigorously after cutting. However, despite its ability to spread, seeds may not persist in the soil and no negative impacts have been documented.

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Faboideae
  •                                 Genus: Flemingia
  •                                     Species: Flemingia macrophylla

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page

Flemingia comprises about 40-50 species, native to the tropical regions in South and South-East Asia and Australia, with two species occurring naturally in Africa. Flemingia macrophylla and Flemingia strobilifera have been introduced in Africa and the Americas as cover, hedge and mulch crops.

The genus Flemingia (family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae) consists of 30 Old World tropical species. F. macrophylla was formerly often referred to as F. congesta. It is closely related to F. ferruginea (Lee, 1995; Li, 1963).


Top of page

F. macrophylla is a woody, tussock-forming shrub, erect or prostrate, up to 3 m or 4 m tall, with a spreading crown, sulfate silky young branches and deep roots. The leaves are digitately 3-foliolate, the leaflets subcoriaceous, oblong, (5-)10-15 cm long, acuminately, rounded at the base, green and glabrous above, sparsely tomentose beneath; stipules linear, approximately 1 cm, caducous; petioles 3-10 cm in length, sulcate, narrowly winged. Inflorescences mostly axillary, in dense racemes, 5-30 cm long, with 15-40 papilionoid flowers. Calyx densely silky, 6-13 mm long with 5 lanceolate lobes; greenish standard with distinct red blotches or stripes and purple apex. The flowers have very short pedicels, red or purple; bracts lanceolate, to 5 cm in length, tomentose, caducous; calyx to 1 cm in length, with linear-lanceolate teeth, tomentose; corolla scarcely exserted, the keel obtuse. The pods are cylindrical, inflated, 8-12 mm long and 5 mm wide, covered with fine glandular hair, dehiscent, dark brown, 2-seeded. Seeds globular, 2 mm in diameter, shiny, black. The roots are often nodulated.

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated


Top of page

F. macrophylla is native to South and South-East Asia, from India and Sri Lanka, to southern China and Indonesia (USDA-ARS, 2014) and is widely distributed in humid to subhumid tropics and subtropics of Taiwan, southern China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bhutan, India, Nepal, northern Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Papua New Guinea.

Plantations have been established on a large scale in south China and India in order to breed lac insects. In Nepal and Bhutan, this species is also used in agroforestry. Due to its long use throughout East, Central and West Africa, Hawaii and North Australia for soil improvement and fuelwood, it has become naturalized in these countries (Zheng and Li, 1989). It has also been introduced to Papua New Guinea, and is cultivated in Tropical America. In a Pacific weed assessment, F. macrophylla is reported as naturalized in Hawaii, sub-Saharan Africa, Papua New Guinea and possibly elsewhere including American Samoa (PIER, 2014).

As a useful, nitrogen fixing fodder tree, it has been widely introduced for planting in alleys, as a hedge and as a cover crop, and for erosion control and land reclamation.

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes


BangladeshPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
BhutanPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
Brunei DarussalamPresentNativeOrwa et al., 2009
CambodiaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
ChinaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-AnhuiPresent Natural
-FujianPresentPlanted, Natural
-GuangdongPresentPlanted, Natural
-GuangxiPresentPlanted, Natural
-GuizhouPresentPlanted, Natural
-HainanPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-Hong KongPresent Natural
-HunanPresent Natural
-JiangxiPresent Natural
-SichuanPresentPlanted, Natural
-TibetPresent Natural
-YunnanPresentPlanted, Natural
East TimorPresentIntroducedAVH, 2014
IndiaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-Andhra PradeshPresent Natural
-Arunachal PradeshPresent Natural
-AssamPresent Natural
-BiharPresentPlanted, Natural
-GujaratPresent Natural
-HaryanaPresent Natural
-Himachal PradeshPresent Natural
-KeralaPresent Natural
-Madhya PradeshPresent Natural
-MaharashtraPresent Natural
-NagalandPresent Natural
-OdishaPresentPlanted, Natural
-RajasthanPresent Natural
-SikkimPresent Natural
-Tamil NaduPresentPlanted, Natural
-Uttar PradeshPresent Natural
-West BengalPresent Natural
IndonesiaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-JavaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-KalimantanPresent Natural
-SulawesiPresent Natural
-SumatraPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
LaosPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
MalaysiaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-SabahPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-SarawakPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
MyanmarPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
NepalPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
PakistanPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
PhilippinesPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
SingaporePresent Natural
Sri LankaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
TaiwanPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
ThailandPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
VietnamPresentNativeILDIS, 2014


AngolaPresent Planted
BeninPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
BotswanaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
Burkina FasoPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
BurundiPresent Planted
CameroonPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
Central African RepublicPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
ChadPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
ComorosPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
CongoPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014
Côte d'IvoirePresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014
EgyptPresent Planted
EthiopiaPresent Planted
GabonPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
GambiaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
GhanaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014
GuineaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
KenyaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
LesothoPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
LiberiaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
MadagascarPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014
MalawiPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
MaliPresent Planted
MauritaniaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
MauritiusPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014; PIER, 2014
MayottePresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
MozambiquePresent Planted
NamibiaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
NigerPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
NigeriaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
RéunionPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014; PIER, 2014
SenegalPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
Sierra LeonePresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
South AfricaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
SwazilandPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014
TogoPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014
UgandaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
ZimbabwePresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014

North America

MexicoPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014

Central America and Caribbean

Costa RicaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
HondurasPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
PanamaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
BoliviaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
BrazilPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014
-ParaPresent Planted
ChilePresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
ColombiaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
EcuadorPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
French GuianaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
GuyanaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
ParaguayPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
PeruPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
SurinamePresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
UruguayPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedOrwa et al., 2009


American SamoaPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2014
AustraliaPresentIntroducedPIER, 2014
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentIntroducedAVH, 2014
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedAVH, 2014
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedAVH, 2014
Cook IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
FijiPresentIntroduced Not invasive ILDIS, 2014; PIER, 2014
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2014
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentIntroducedPIER, 2014
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2014
PalauPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2014
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
SamoaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
TongaPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2014

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page

It was recorded in the forest zone of Ghana in the 1960s, being one of four legumes selected as promising by Kannegieter (1966) out of more than 100 species/genotypes that were planted. However, it is likely to have been introduced earlier in many countries.

F. macrophylla was noted in cultivation in Tonga, naturalizing in Samoa and American Samoa and in the Cook Islands, and naturalized in Jamaica (Space and Flynn, 2001; 2002). It continues to spread. In Hawaii, it was found naturalizing for the first time by Parker and Parsons (2012) near agricultural land, considered as spreading from cultivated trees such as a cover crop for nitrogen-enrichment. It has also been seen naturalizing in a vacant lot, but it is unknown how frequently this plant is cultivated.

Risk of Introduction

Top of page

This species (and F. strobilifera) show every indication of becoming invasive species on Pacific islands (PIER, 2014), with a score of 5 (‘evaluate’) in a Pacific risk assessment. Space and Flynn (2001) considered “These species should not be planted more widely or introduced to islands where they are not present."


Top of page

F. macrophylla is found in the sub-humid and humid tropics, from sea level to 2000 m altitude, tolerating fairly long dry spells and capable of surviving on very poorly drained soils with waterlogging. Its natural habitat is along watercourses, both on clay and lateritic soils, as well as under drier conditions such as in fields invested with Imperata cylindrica and savanna woodlands, sometimes forming thickets (PIER, 2014). Its natural habitat is also reported as in shaded locations, scrub, woodlands, grasslands and forest edges, tolerating shade and poor, acid soils with a high soluble aluminium content (Hanum and Maesen, 1997).

It is found naturalized along roadsides and in low-lying places in Jamaica at 120-380 m altitude (Adams, 1972). In Hawaii, it was found naturalizing near agricultural land (Parker and Parsons, 2012). It has also been seen naturalizing in a vacant lot, but it is unknown how frequently this plant is cultivated. The species is also found naturally growing along watercourses in secondary forest, and in drier conditions such as fields infested with Imperata cylindrica (Orwa et al., 2009).

Habitat List

Top of page
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

Top of page


The chromosome number is reported to be 2n=22 (Faridah Hanum and Maesen, 1997).

Reproductive Biology

F. macrophylla produces seed within 6-7 months from planting, although first year seed yields are low. F. macrophylla is propagated from seed. Seed is orthodox, germination rates decreasing sharply after six months storage due to the high fat content becoming rancid.

Physiology and Phenology

F. macrophylla is a light-demanding species that readily colonizes on exposed fertile soil. Full overhead light is necessary for vigorous growth, however, it will survive in light shade. F. macrophylla is relatively drought tolerant, and develops a good root system with a deep and dominant primary root up to 1 m long after 3 years (Zheng and Li, 1989). This species also fixes nitrogen, and coppices well.

In southern Yunnan in China, the buds and new leaves sprout from February to April, and flowering extends from June-August. The pods ripen from September to November (Zheng and Li, 1989). In some areas, such as Ghana, F. macrophylla remains green throughout the year and retains most of its leaf during the dry season (Orwa et al., 2009).

Environmental Requirements

F. macrophylla occurs in a wide range of tropical and subtropical sites up to 1800-2400 m in altitude, and it grows best where the mean annual rainfall exceeds 1500 mm. Different regimes of rainfall are tolerated, with dry seasons of up to 6 months, and the tree tolerates a mean annual rainfall as low as 800 mm where growth is slow and tree form is poor. Cultivation is unsuitable in regions where the temperature drops below 0°C (Zheng and Li, 1989).

This species may tolerate a diverse range of soils, yet grows well on freely draining and fertile sites. F. macrophylla is often found on slopes and exposed areas. It may tolerate poor and acidic soils with high aluminium content (Faridah Hanum and Maesen, 1997).


Top of page
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

Top of page
Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
27 4 0 2400

Air Temperature

Top of page
Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) 0 4
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 15 28
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 20 24
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 8 22


Top of page
ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration06number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall8002800mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Summer

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • shallow

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page

Agromyza spp. reduce seed production by laying eggs in green pods of F. macrophylla, and the tree is an off-season host for the pod fly Melanagromyza obtusa, an important pest of pigeonpea, especially in central and northern India (Orwa et al., 2009). Other pests include Icerya aegyptiaca, Megalurothrips distalis and the nematode Rotylenchulus reniformis.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page

Natural Dispersal

When mature and dry, the small pods turn brown and split, discharging their seeds over short distances (Roshetko, 1995).

F. macrophylla is found naturally growing along watercourses in secondary forest (Orwa et al., 2009) and water is likely to assist seed dispersal.

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

Four categories of dispersal agents were identified by Puyravaud et al. (2003), including birds and mammals, as well as wind and mechanical means. However, it is also reported in PIER (2014) that there is no direct evidence that the fruit is bird dispersed and no other evidence of animal dispersal.

Intentional Introduction

F. macrophylla has been widely introduced as a valuable multipurpose agroforestry tree, grown in hedges, shelterbelts, as a shade crop and in alley cropping.

Economic Impact

Top of page

F. macrophylla is a valuable multipurpose tree planted in hedges, shelterbelts, as a shade crop and in alley cropping. This species produces mulch, fodder, fuel wood and a dye, while its nitrogen fixing ability results in soil improvement, and the extensive root systems aid soil conservation.

Environmental Impact

Top of page

This tree is recorded as invasive in a number of islands and countries, but there are no specific reports of the environmental impact.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
Impact outcomes
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Monoculture formation
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately


Top of page

This is a multi-purpose tree with many uses in agroforestry and it is an important hedge plant and forage crop in various parts of the tropics. F. macrophylla has an excellent coppicing capacity, and is suitable for fodder and mulch production in alley-cropping systems. Owing to the slow decomposition of the leaves, the mulch forms a relatively solid mulch layer that effectively prevents germination of weed seeds or stunts their early development for 100 days, so having long-term effects on weed control, moisture conservation and reducing soil temperature (Orwa et al., 2009).

Due to its nitrogen fixing properties, F. macrophylla is planted in fallows for soil improvement. It is grown 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 such as in tea plantations in Madagascar (Orwa et al., 2009). In Malaysia, it is planted with creeping legumes, providing support for them to climb on, and is used in Cote d’Ivoire in pineapple plantations to control nematode infestation (Orwa et al., 2009). It is also grown in terraces to prevent soil erosion, and as an understorey in plantations of Honduras pine (Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis) (Faridah Hanum and Maesen, 1997).

Leaves are used as fodder and its leaves and seeds have high protein content (Chen et al., 1993), but it has lower palatability that other legume trees such as leucaena, and is often browsed only at the end of the dry season when other more palatable species have been consumed. In some areas, such as Ghana, F. macrophylla remains green throughout the year and retains most of its leaf during the dry season, making it suitable as a dry-season browse species, with palatability of immature herbage being considerably better than that of old mature herbage (Orwa et al., 2009). F. macrophylla has the ability to sprout vigorously after coppicing, and is also cut for fuelwood.

F. macrophylla is also a minor host of the Indian and Chinese lac insects (Kerria lacca), where it is planted in mixed stands with other lac host tree species. In some intensively managed mixed stands in China, trees were suitable for breeding lac after 6 months when 1.5 m high (Zheng and Li, 1989). In southern Yunnan, China, 3000 hectares of lac stands were planted in 1978-1993 (Chen et al., 1993).

F. macrophylla and F. grahamiana are the principal sources of the resinous powder known as 'waras' or 'warrus' used for dyeing silk, especially valuable in India and Pakistan. The coarse purple or orange-brown powder is made from the glandular hairs rubbed from the dry pods. In Arabia, it is also used as a cosmetic, anthelmintic and to treat coughs and colds. The roots are used as a tonic herb in China, as an external application to ulcers and swellings in India and China, and to treat paralysis, joint pains and postpartum fever in Taiwan (Faridah Hanum and Maesen, 1997; Orwa et al., 2009).

Uses List

Top of page

Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage
  • Invertebrate food for lac/wax insects


  • Agroforestry
  • Boundary, barrier or support
  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Land reclamation
  • Revegetation
  • Shade and shelter
  • Soil conservation
  • Soil improvement
  • Windbreak


  • Fuelwood


  • Dye/tanning
  • Green manure
  • Lac
  • Mulches

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical

Prevention and Control

Top of page

No specific measures were found regarding the control of F. macrophylla.


Top of page

Adams CD, 1972. Flowering plants of Jamaica. Mona, Jamaica: University of the West Indies, 848 pp

Anon, 1979. Preliminary studies on quality of shellac in 18 host species of lac insect. Bulletin of shellac, Dept. of host plants, Research Institute of lac. 4:1-5

AVH, 2014. Australia's virtual herbarium (AVH). Australia: Herbaria of Australia.

Brasil EC, Lima JBL, Sampaio AW, 1992. Effect of legume mulching on weed control in an alley cropping system. Boletim de Pesquisa - Centro de Pesquisa Agroflorestal da Amazonia Oriental, No. 137:18 pp

Budelman A, 1988. Leaf dry matter productivity of three selected perennial leguminous species in humid tropical Ivory Coast. Agroforestry Systems, 7(1):47-62; 27 ref

Chen WY, Chang CC, 1974. Flora Hainanica. Tomus III. Beijing, China. Science Press. 310-311

Chen XM, Feng Y, 1993. Studies on population density and secretion of lac insect. Forest Research. 6(4): 462-465

Chen YD, Hou KW, Lu FJ, Yuan J, Zhang ZJ, 1993. Potential and prospect of developing protein-feed resources of woody plants in Yunnan Province. Forest Research. 346-350

Chen YD, Zhang ZJ, Hui YW, Zheng DY, Tan BB, 1990. Study on the full use of plant resources of dry-hot valley in Yunnan. Forest Research. 3(6):638-641

FAO, 2014. Grassland species profiles.

Faridah Hanum I, Maesen LJG van der, eds. , 1997. Plant resources of southeast Asia. No. 11. Auxillary plants. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys

Gu SJ, 1993. An investigation on the pathogens of both Lac insects and their host plants. Forest Research. 6(6): 711-713

Hou KW, 1992. The current advances and prospect of lac research in China. Forest Research. 5(2): 210-213

Hou KW, Chen YD, 1980. The lac host plants in Guangxi Region. Botany of Gunagxi. 3/4: 46-47

Hou KW, Li JY, Liu FS, Yi P, Li SJ, Xiao JK, 1988. The effects of getting rid of flower buds in the yield and quality of broodlac. Forest Research. 1(1):41-47

ILDIS, 2014. International Legume Database and Information Service. Reading, UK: School of Plant Sciences, University of Reading.

International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, 1992. A selection of useful trees and shrubs for Kenya: notes on their identification, propagation and management for use by agricultural and pastoral communities. 226 pp.; 25 ref

Kannegieter A, 1966. The cultivation of grasses and legumes in the forest zone of Ghana. Ghana Journal of Science, 6(3-4):97-109

Kapur AF, 1962. The Lac insects, "A monograph on Lac". Indian Lac Institute, Ranchi, 59-88

Lee SK, 1995. Flora. Tomus 41. Beijing, China: Science Press. 325-326

Li HL, 1944. On Flemingia roxburgh (1812), non roxburg (1803) versus Moghania. J. St. - Hilaire (1813). Amer. J. Bot. 31(4): 224-228

Li HL, 1963. Woody Flora of Taiwan. Pennsylvania, USA: Livingston Publishing Co

Li YL, 1979. Methods of selecting superior lac host plants abroad. Bulletin of shellac, Dept. of host plants, Research Institute of lac. 2: 17-21

Liu CL, 1957. The lac insect in China. Indian J. Ent. 19(2): 84-90

Liu SZ, 1978. Effects of growth regulators on propagation of lac host plants. Bulletin of shellac, Dept. of host plants, Research Institute of lac . 1: 14-17

Liu SZ, 1979. Flemingia macrophylla: A multipurpose host plant of lac insects. Bulletin of shellac, Dept. of host plants, Research Institute of lac. 4:35-37

Lu FJ, 1991. Analysis on the lac quality produced from the Chinese common host tree of Kerria chinesis. Forest Research. 4(6): 679-681

Lu FJ, Yang FL, Zheng DR, Chen YD, Li HX, 1979. Note on a promising lac host plant: Flemingia macrophylla. Bulletin of shellac, Dept. of host plants, Research Institute of lac . 1: 1-5

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2014. Tropicos database. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.

Muhr L, Tarawali SA, Peters M, Schultze-Kraft R, 1999. Forage legumes for improved fallows in agropastoral systems of subhumid West Africa. I. Establishment, herbage yield and nutritive value of legumes as dry season forage. Tropical Grasslands, 33(4):222-233

Nada Y, Ogawa Y, Mitamura T, 1992. Surface-sowing of legume seed in savanna of South America. JARQ, Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly, 25(4):294-302; 17 ref

Orwa C, Mutua A, Kindt R, Jamnadass R, Simons A, 2009. Agroforestree Database: a tree reference and selection guide version 4.0. World Agroforestry Centre.

Ou BR, 1960. The important insect resource in China: lac insects. Entomological Knowledge. 6(4): 126-129

Parker JL, Parsons B, 2012. New plant records from the Big Island for 2010-2011. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2011. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers, 113:65-74.

PIER, 2014. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii.

Purkayastha BK, Moti Ram, 1979. Effects of gibberellic acid on growth of bushy lac host plants in relation to lac yield. Indian J. Agro. Sci. 49(8): 620-621

Puyravaud JP, Dufour C, Subramanian Aravajy, 2003. Rain forest expansion mediated by successional processes in vegetation thickets in the Western Ghats of India. Journal of Biogeography, 30(7):1067-1080

Roonwal ML, 1962. Lac hosts, "A monograph on Lac". Indian Lac Institute, Ranchi, 35

Roshetko JM, 1995. Community-based tree seed production with Desmodium rensonii and Flemingia macrophylla. Agroforestry Information Service Number 13, 13. Morrilton, Arkansas, USA: Winrock International

Shi BC, 1993. On the climatic zone for lac insects along with their evaluation and experiment in Yunnan, China. Forest Research. 6(4): 437-443

Space JC, Flynn T, 2001. Report to the Kingdom of Tonga on invasive plant species of environmental concern. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: USDA Forest Service

The Plant List, 2013. The Plant List: a working list of all plant species. Version 1.1. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.

USDA-NRCS, 2014. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center.

Wang Y, Li HQ, Lan XY, 1985. Superoxidase isoenzyme analysis for the lac insect host plant of Flemingia macrophylla. Yunnan forestry science and technology. 1: 25-26

Xiao GG(Chief Editor), 1991. Forest insects of China. Beijing, China; China Forestry Publishing House, Ed. 2:vi + 1362 pp

Yan KX, Li JY, Wang SY, Tan DS, 1992. A study on the climatic adaptability of the lac insect , Kerria sindica (Mahdihassan). Forest Research. 5(1): 72-77

Yang XC, Duan X, 1993. A success in propagating the introduced lac insect (Kerria sindica) in China. Forest Research. 6(5): 541-546

Zhang FH, 1979. Experiment of breeding lac insects with Flemingia macrophylla. Bulletin of shellac, Dept. of host plants, Research Institute of lac . 3: 17-25

Zheng DR, Li WL, 1989. A study of the Bhalia (Moghania macrophylla). Forest Research . 2(6): 565-569

Zhou ZX, 1992. Forestry in Guizhou. Guizhou, China: Guizhou Science & Technology Press, 163-165

Links to Websites

Top of page
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gateway source for updated system data added to species habitat list.


Top of page

05/11/2014 Updated by:

Nick Pasiecznik, Consultant, France

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map