Characteristics of Luck Plant / Wild Hops (Flemingia strobilifera) in the Wild

Flemingia strobilifera
Luck Plant or Wild Hops (Flemingia strobilifera) is a perennial flowering plant from the Fabaceae family and subfamily Faboideae.

Luck Plant is native to South, East, and Southeast Asia which includes China, Taiwan, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea.

In Bangladesh, Luck Plant is used as a traditional medicine to treat epilepsy, hysteria, and fever. It is an important part of the Bihu (গৰু বিহু) festival, where cattle are gently bathed and beaten with twigs of this plant. It is also known as Makhiyoti (মাখিয়তী) in the northeastern Indian state of Assam.

In New Caledonia and Panama, Luck Plant is categorized as an invasive species.

There are countless synonymous names for naming the Luck Plant, they include:


    Flemingia bracteata
    Flemingia fruticulosa
    Flemingia strobilifera var. bracteata
    Flemingia strobilifera var. fruticulosa
    Hedysarum bracteatum
    Hedysarum strobiliferum
    Moghania bracteata
    Moghania fruticulosa
    Moghania strobilifera
    Moghania strobilifera
    Moghania strobilifera
    Zornia strobilifera

 

Characteristics of Luck Plant Leaf

Flemingia strobilifera Leaf
Source: inaturalist.org/people/sogellizer

The leaves are simple, about 15-17 cm long, 10-13 cm wide, ovate with pinnate venation, and wavy edges.

 

Characteristics of Luck Plant Flower

Flemingia strobilifera Flower
Source: inaturalist.org/people/sogellizer

The flowers are bean-shaped, white, small, and surrounded by a pair of reniform flower bracts. The bracts are alternately arranged in 2 files along the raceme, and eventually, turn thin as they dry.

 

Characteristics of Luck Plant Fruit

The fruit is pods, cylindrical, small, filled with black and red seeds, and when they are old they explode to scatter the seeds.

 

Characteristics of Luck Plant

Flemingia strobilifera Tree
Source: flickr.com/Dinesh Valke

Luck Plant grows as a 1-2 meter tall perennial shrub. It is easy to find in empty, damp gardens, and often makes large, dense shrubs with grass and other vines.

Even though it has dense and large flowers, it is still rare for people to use the Luck Plant as an ornamental plant or a hedge tree. This tree is very easy to find around community settlements, for example on vacant land that is somewhat damp or on the edge of rice fields.

 

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