IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (VU)
Rhynchosia heynei Wight & Arn. (syn: Rhynchosia coodoorensis Bedd.);
India (N) ; Andhra Pradesh; Karnataka; Tamil Nadu as per ILDIS;
This species is endemic to peninsular India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu). Kumar and Sane (2003) consider the occurrence of this species in Karnataka questionable, although in the Flora of Karnataka (Saldanha 1984), this species is listed as rare in dry places. Only two specimens were found from this region, both close to the border with Andhra Pradesh and both pre 1918 collections. The specimen collected by Baker in Tamil Nadu is dated 1876 (Nair and Henry 1983).
This herbaceous under shrub is found in mixed and dry deciduous forests and scrub jungles. It is found in small patches and the recorded areas of occurrence are widely dispersed (Sanjappa pers com. 2011)
Rhynchosia heynei is used by local people to treat rheumatic pains, arthritis and skin diseases. The essential oil obtained from the leaves by steam distillation has been investigated for antimicrobial activity and chemical characterization (Bhaskshu and Raju 2009).
In the Deccan thorn scrub forest and Central Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forest ecoregions, where many of the specimens have been recorded, more than 80 per cent of the natural habitat has been degraded or cleared (Rawat et al. 2001).The most serious threats are from overgrazing, cattle encroachment into forests, forest clearance, particularly for fuelwood, and conversion of land for agricultue. The conservation status of these ecoregions were changed from endangered to critical after the analysis of projected threats from the human population (Rawat et al.2001). This species is used medicinally, but the effect of this on the population is difficult to quantify.
Submission of Rhynchosia heynei : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3)
Plant name: Rhynchosia heynei Wight & Arn., Prodr. Fl. Ind. Orient. 1: 240. 1834.
Description: Trailing undershrubs to 1.5m tall; branches grey-downy. Leaves 3 foliate, leaflets 3-6 × 1.5-4cm, ovate-rhomboid, tomentose on upper surface, densey tomentose on lower surface. Flowers 1 cm long, yellow, in 5-10cm long axillary lax racemes. Bracts cordate. Calyx campanulate, accrescent, hairy. Corolla yellow, papilionoid, standard obovate, wings and keels subequal, inflexed. Stamens (9)+1; vexillary stamen free; anthers uniform. Ovary sessile or subsessile; ovules 2; style curved above middle, usually hairy at lower part; stigma terminal. Pod 1cm long, 1 or 2 seeded, septate between seeds, pubescent, enclosed within accrescent calyx.
Habitat & location: Occasional in forest under growth in rocky hill slopes. Limited to Peninsular India. Photographed at Rapur.