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Melilotus indica

M. diplotricha is a fast-growing, erect shrub and a scrambling

Melilotus indica is a fast-growing, erect shrub and a scrambling climber, which can form dense thickets in a short span of time. It is an annual, although behaves as a perennial. Leaves are bright green, feathery, alternate, each leaf with about 20 pairs of small leaflets, bipinnate, sessile, opposite, lanceolate, cute, 6 - 12 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, sensitive to disturbance. The stem is four-angled, woody at the decumbent base, with re-curved thorns (3 - 6 mm long), up to 3 m in height. The inflorescence is a lustered fluffy ball, about 12 mm across, pale pink, occurs on short stalks (1 cm long) in leaf joints; the orolla is gamopetalous; there are twice as many stamens as petals. The flowering period is from ugust to February, but can vary from region to region; it flowers throughout the year in some tropical ountries. The pods are clustered, 10 - 35 mm long and 6 mm wide, linear, flat, clothed with small rickles, splitting transversely into one-seeded sections at the groves. The seeds are flat, ovate, spiny, 2 - .5 mm long and 0.6 - 1.4 mm thick, glossy and light brown. Seed production is in the range of 8,000 - 12,000 per m2. The weight of 1,000 seeds is around 6 gm. Seed setting is from September to February. Roots are profusely branched and with root nodules.

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