Family: Fabaceae (alt. Leguminosae) subfamily: Faboideae tribe: Dalbergieae.
A perennial, tap-rooted herb. Stems 20‒50 cm long, glabrous or pubescent, with a prostrate to ascending growth habit and intensive branching. Stipules lanceolate, striate, to 1 cm long. Leaves bifoliolate, leaflets lanceolate-oblong to broadly-ovate, acute at the apex, glabrous or pubescent, 1‒4 cm long; leaflets at the base of the stem quite broad and become progressively narrower to lanceolate or linear-lanceolate along the branches, sometimes reduced to a simple leaf. Inflorescence a terminal or axillary peduncled spike; flowers alternate, 1‒35 per inflorescence, inserted along elongated axis; stipuliform bracts up to 1.5 cm long, either side of and nearly enclosing the flower, conspicuously dotted with glands. Calyx hyaline, 4 mm long, ciliate. Petals yellow, approximately 1 cm long, the standard with red striations at the centre. Pods 2‒8 articulate, shortly beaked, more or less spiny, pubescent, the inferior margin deeply crenate, the superior margin nearly straight, joints rounded, 2‒3 mm long and wide, articles dehiscent, each containing a single seed. 550,000‒900,000 seeds per kg.
Latin America: maconha brava, zórnia (Brazil); tencilla, barba de burro, caminadora (Spanish); koemataballi (Suriname)
West Africa: emu (Yoruba)
Note: Many Zornia spp. have bifoliolate leaves and have been classified as or confused with Z. diphylla. While many of the common names shown under Z. glabra will have been applied to Z. latifolia because of its resemblance to Z. diphylla, the above are probably more specifically applied to it by virtue of its claimed hallucinogenic properties.
South America: Argentina (Cordoba, Chaco, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Santiago del Estero); Bolivia; Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Uruguay; Venezuela.
Africa: Western tropical Africa.
No evidence of use in sown perennial pastures but potential for improved pastures as well as in intercropping systems is suggested.
Used as an hallucinogenic substitute for cannabis by the Brazilian Indians - hence the name, maconha brava.
Well adapted to the free-draining, acid and low-fertility, Al-toxic oxisols of the South American savannas.
Warm-season plant, no growth at <13 °C. In cooler climates, it usually dies back to the rootstock during winter, producing new stems and leaves in spring and summer, and flowers and fruit in autumn.
Little or no shade tolerance.
Flowering can occur at the Equator but is mainly induced by short days; occurs sequentially from the basal to the terminal flowers of the inflorescence; flowers open for 5‒10 hours at anthesis. Fertilization is mainly autogamous, with a very low proportion of insect-dependent crossing. Free-seeding.
Recovers from soil seed bank.
Recommendation in the Llanos Orientales of Colombia: P, K, S at 20, 20, 10 kg/ha respectively for establishment; half the dosis for annual maintenance fertilization.
Compatible with low-growing bunch grasses.
Legumes: Not generally sown with other legumes.
Main limitation to the use of is susceptibility to diseases, namely scab (Sphaceloma zorniae) and a virus-blackmould (Meliola sp.) complex, causing leafrolling distortion and stunted growth. Formerly promising accession CIAT 728 quite susceptible; accession CIAT 9199 tolerant. Also attacked in seed stands by the bud worm (Stegasta bosqueella), which, however, is easily controlled by insecticides.
Good natural spread by self-sown seed.
Considered to be low.
DM yields recorded in the humid tropics of South America: 2.4‒2.8 t/ha in 12 weeks; in the subhumid Colombian Llanos Orientales, 0.6‒4.9 t/ha when grown in association with Urochloa decumbens and Andropogon gayanus.
LWG of steers grazing a mixture of CIAT 728 with Andropogon gayanus in the Colombian Llanos Orientales was, in the third year, 135 g/day in the 3-month dry season and 420 g/day in the 9-month rainy season.
2n = 20.
Annual yields of up to 700 kg/ha seed have been obtained over a 3-year period near Brasília, Brazil (latitude 15.5° S). Optimum temperatures for seed setting range from 20 to 27 ºC.
No information available.
Pott, A. (2016) Zornia latifolia (Zórnia). In: Vieira, R.F., Camillo, J. and Coradin, L. (eds) Espécies Nativas da Flora Brasileira de Valor Econômico Atual ou Potencial: Plantas para o Futuro ‒ Região Centro-Oeste. Secretaria de Biodiversidade, Ministério do Meio Ambiente, Brasília, DF, Brazil. p. 585‒589. https://bit.ly/2UMZUzo
CIAT 9199 In Colombia. This accession was found to be tolerant of fungal disease, Sphaceloma scab.