Family : Leguminosae
Text © Pietro Puccio
English translation by Mario Beltramini
The species is native to New Caledonia, where it lives in the thicket at low and medium altitudes on prevailingly serpentine soils.
The name of the genus is the combination of the Greek term “arthron” = joint and the name of the genus Clianthus with which it has many affinities; the species is honoured to its collector Emile Deplanche (1824-1874), French naval surgeon and botanist who studied the flora of New Caledonia.
After the botanists, the genus is in need of a careful revision.
The Arthroclianthus deplanchei Hochr. (1909) is a shrub tall up to about 4 m with drooping branches and alternate pinnate leaves composed by three leaflets, the two lateral ones being smaller than the apical, oblong-lanceolate with entire margin, 2-4 cm long and 1-1,8 cm broad, glossy, of intense green colour on the upper page, pale green below.
The inflorescences are axillary with 3-4 cm long papilionaceous flowers of white, pink or red colour; the fruits are flat, hanging, legumes of greyish brown colour when ripe. It reproduces by seed.
Practically unknown species outside of New Caledonia, in spite of its undoubted ornamental characteristics, it is cultivated only in some botanical gardens.
Considering its origin country, it seems to be capable to adapt to tropical and subtropical climate zones.
The photographic file of Giuseppe Mazza