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Herbs or shrubs. Leaves simple or 3-foliolate. Inflorescence terminal or leaf-opposed racemes. Flowers often showy. Calyx tube short, teeth linear subequal or shortly connate in two lips. Corolla equalling or exceeding the calyx, standard with short claw, round, wings obovate-oblong, shorter, keels broad, equalling wings, much incurved, distinctly beaked. Stamens monadelphous, anthers diadelphous. Ovary sessile or stipitate, linear, multi or 2-ovuled, abruptly incurved at base, bearded upwards, stigmas oblique. Fruit pod, sessile, stipitate, straight, linear or oblong, turgid, many-seeded.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Leaves simple 2
1b. Leaves trifoliate or digitately compound 17
2a. Stem winged by decurrent stipules C. alata
2b. Stem not winged 3
3a. Ovary glabrous 4
3b. Ovary hairy 15
4a. Calyx tube broadly campanulate, protracted on the lower side; corolla much exceeding calyx 5
4b. Calyx deeply bilabiate, divided nearly to base corolla included in or slightly exceeding calyx 6
5a. Calyx glabrous; bracts broad, cordate to cordate acuminate C. spectabilis
5b. Calyx hairy; bracts narrow C. retusa
6a. Fruit 2.0 cm long, seed yellowish C. kurzii
6b. Fruit more than 2.0 cm long, seeds other than yellowish 7
7a. Upper two calyx teeth more than half the length of tube, a small prostrate herb C. nana
7b. Upper two calyx less than half the length of tube 8
8a. Racemes terminal or in leaf axils (monopodial type) 9
8b. Racemes leaf-opposed, never in leaf-axils (sympodial type) 14
9a. Calyx accrescent in fruit; pods included in the calyx 10
9b. Calyx not accrescent in fruit, pods exerted or as long as the calyx 11
10a. Seeds unequal sided, 2.0 mm long, yellowish brown C. calycina
10b. Seeds curved, 5.0 mm long, violet brown C. berteroana
11a. Leaves broad, ovate cuneate; racemes very dense, head-like, pod as long as calyx C. dubia
11b. Leaves narrow; racemes elongated, pods about twice as long as calyx 12
12a. Stipules present, linear, persistent; stem and calyx clothed with long brown silky hairs, calyx 12-15 mm; pods 25-30 mm long, 20-30 seeded C. mysorensis
12b. Stipules absent; stem and calyx appressed, calyx 6 mm, pods 12-15mm, 6-12 seeded C. albida
13a. Plants erect or ascending; calyx provided with villous ferruginous hairs C. ferruginea
13b. Prostrate herbs; calyx not provided with villous ferruginous hairs 14
14a. Stipules deflexed, persistent, lanceolate, leaves sparsely pilose on both surfaces, racemes elongated, closely 12-20 flowered, calyx long pilose C. acilularis
14b. Stipules minute, very early cauducous, leaves appressed pubescent, limb of standard elliptic –emarginated at apex C. prostrata
15a. Leaves ovate; stipules foliaceous, semilunar, large, calyx tube campanulate, corolla either blue or white C. verrucosa
15b. Leaves lanceolate or linear, stipules minute or abscent; calyx tube deeply bilabiate; corolla yellow 16
16a. Young brances 4-angled, leaves lanceolate to linear –acuminate, 5-25 cm long; calyx velvety with dark brown hairs; limb of standard suborbicular C. tetragona
16b. Young branches terete, multisulcate, leaves oblong lanceolate to linear; 0.5-2 cm long; calyx velvety with yellowish brown hairs; limbs of standard broadly ovate, acute at apex with two notches on either side C. juncea
17a. Leaves 5 –foliate; robust annual herb C. quinquefolia
17b. Leaves 3 –foliate; shrubs or undershrubs 18
18a. Keel exceeding wings, calyx truncate at base and deflexed against pedicel 19
18b. Keel as long as or much shorter than wings 20
19a. Leaflets obovate, rounded or retuse at apex, bracteoles setaceous; pods short stipitate, subcylindrical 3-4 x 0.4-0.55, glabrescent when mature C. pallida
19b. Leaflets not obovate, acute to acuminate at apex, bracteoles not setaceous, pods wolly C. bracteata
20a. Calyx deeply divided, keel as long as wings, limb of standard elliptic; ovary subsessile; pod fusiform clavate, spreading pilose. C. incana
20b. Calyx tube campanulate, keels much shorter than wings, limb of standard subreniform, emerginate at apex, ovary stipitate; pod oblong- fusiform, appressed puberulous C. micans