Thursday 28 September 2023


Dipogon lignosus, the okie bean, Cape sweet-pea, dolichos pea or mile-a-minute vine, is a species of flowering plant in the legume family, Fabaceae. It is the only species classified in the monotypic genus Dipogon which belongs to the subfamily Faboideae.

It is a climbing woody, herbaceous perennial which becomes woody towards the base. The soft green stems climb over nearby structures, shrubs or trees, and can grow up to 2m tall, extending a long way horizontally if possible. Its leaves are dark to medium green above, paler below and are composed of three diamond shaped leaflets which have a wide set base before tapering to a fine point. Each leaflet has its own stalk.

The flowers are typical for the pea family and are pink, mauve, magenta and purple in colour, growing on the tips of new growth stems in short, dense racemes with long peduncles. Flowering occurs throughout spring and summer, i.e. August to January in its native South Africa. The pods are flat and sickle-shaped, each containing four to six seeds, and are formed soon after flowering. In warmer climates this is an evergreen, but it may develop a deciduous habit in areas where are subject to frosts.

Dipogon lignosus has a native range that covers the Western Cape and Eastern Cape in South Africa where it prefers milder areas where it is not subjected to frost. It is an invasive weed in Australia and New Zealand and in some areas control of D. lignosus can be mandated.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

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