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Tephrosia (family Leguminosae, subfamily Papilionatae) A genus of shrubs and herbs, which have pinnate leaves, usually with several leaflets but sometimes with very few. The leaves are often silky below. The inflorescence is a terminal raceme held opposite the leaf, or an axillary raceme. The irregular flowers are red, purple, or white, with the calyx teeth about equal in length. The petals are clawed, with the upright petal hairy on its outer surface, and the wing petals held obliquely, often slightly adherent to the incurved keel. The upper stamen is usually free, the remaining 9 being fused in a tube. The ovary contains many ovules. There are more than 400 species, found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, but especially in Africa.

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