Macroptilium lathyroides

Macroptilium lathyroides.

Also known as Cowpea it is the other species found in S. E. Queensland.
It seems to be less common than M. atropurpureum.
It is an erect herb but rarely climbs.

The trifoliate leaves are on petioles up to 5 cm long.
At the petiole base are small, 5 mm long, leaf-like stipules.
The leaflets, up to 8 cm long, are narrower than those of M. atropurpureum.
They are ovate to diamond-shaped and are never lobed.
There are small stipels at the leaflet bases which is a characteristic of the genus.
There are hairs underneath but none on the upper leaflet surface.

The axillary inflorescences, on long stalks, can be up to 50 cm long.
The bright red, or purplish-red flowers are near the top of the inflorescence.
The flowers, with parts in 5’s are about 1.5 cm long.
Their structure is similar to that of M. atropurpureum.

The fruit are narrow pods up to 10 cm long and only 3 to 4 mm wide.
As they mature from green to brown they twist repeatedly along their length.
The roughly 3 mm seeds are brown or a mottled brown and black.