Alysicarpus vaginalis (L.) DC.

Last updated: 06 Apr 2015

Scientific Name

Alysicarpus vaginalis (L.) DC.


Alysicarpus nummalarifolius sensu auct., Alysicarpus nummularifolius (L.) DC., Alysicarpus nummularifolius sensu auct,. Alysicarpus rupicola Edgew., Hedysarum cylindricum Lam., Hedysarum vaginale L. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Akar seleguri [2][3][4]
English Alyce clover, buffalo clover, one-leaf clover [2], divergent alyce clover, white moneywort [3], pencil pod [4]
China Ci jia mu lan, lian jia dou [3]
India Akar siliguri, aswenna, baramatal-chettu, chauli, davai, gohamana, koozhanjeedi, mussaraaku, naamada, soppu, nalla palleru, neeli palleru, pannata, ratu aswenna, sauri, shevra [3]
Indonesia Brobos, gude oyod, tebalan (Javanese) [2][3]; brobos sapi, sesenep [4]
Thailand Thua lisongna [2][3]
Philippines Banig-usa, mani-manian (Tagalog)[2]; than ma nieng, kyauk ma nieng, than- ma nieng kyauk- ma nieng [3]
Vietnam Cây me dât, cây the the [2][3]
Nepal Selo ban [3]
Japan Sasa-hagi [3].

Geographical Distributions

Alysicarpus vaginalis is native to and widespread throughout East Africa including Madagascar, the Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and is naturalised in northern Australia (especially in the Northern Territory), in South America and the United States. [2]

This plant grows on a wide range of soil types, from coraline sands to clays, but prefers lighter soils. It has been collected from very acidic (pH (H20) 4.5) to neutral soils. The species usually occurs in seasonally dry climates with total annu­al rainfall of between 700 and 1700 mm. The species is a common weed of lawns throughout the Asian region and so appears adapted to frequent defoliation and grazing. It is in these situations that the species perennates, whereas in the seasonally dry climates it usually behaves as an annual herb. Stands in northern Austra­lia are variable between seasons and this can be attributed in part to the species behaving as an an­nual in this environment and to the high propor­tion of hard seed. [2]

Botanical Description

A. vaginalis comes from the family of Leguminosae. This plant is annual or short-lived perennial. It is an erect to prostrate herb with many stems that are 10-100 cm long emanating from the rootstock. Its stem is smooth to hairy and it roots at the nodes under sustained moist conditions. [2]

The leaf is with 1 leaflet which is lance-shaped to ovate and measuring 5-65 mm x 3-25 mm. It is hairless to soft hairy. The petiole is 4-15 mm long. The stipules are lance-shaped. [2]

The terminal flowers are about 6 mm long while the leaf-opposed inflorescences are up to 13 cm long. The petal is orange to purple and very variable. [2]

The fruit is 12-25 mm long and is well-exserted from the sepal. It is soft hairy, reticulate, not or slightly constricted between the 4-7 articles which are subcylindrical, and 2.5-3 mm long with raised ridges. [2]

The seeds are dark red, measure 1-1.5 mm long and copiously produced. [2]


A. vaginalis does not tolerate waterlogging and good drainage is essen­tial. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of A. vaginalis(L.) DC. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Alysicarpus vaginalis (L.) DC.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2010 Jul 14; cited 2014 Oct 3]. Available from:
  2. Halim RA, Pengelly BC. Alysicarpus vaginalis (L.) DC. In: Mannetje L ‘t, Jones RM editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 4: Forages. Wageningen, Netherlands; Pudoc Scientific Publisher: 1992. p. 42-44.
  3. Umberto Q. CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology (5 Volume Set). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2000. p. 223- 224.
  4. Herbal Medicine Research Centre Institute Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 38