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Perennial herbs, undershrubs or shrubs. Leaves odd-pinnate; leaflets 1-9; stipules free, acuminate, striate below; stipels subulate. Flowers many in terminal racemes or panicles; bracts lanceolate, persistent or deciduous; bracteoles absent. Sepals 5, connate in a very short tube, 2 upper teeth short. Petals whitish, yellowish or purplish, small, standard orbicular, narrowed into a claw, wings falcate, oblong, adnate to slightly incurved, obtuse keels. Stamens 10, vexillary filaments free, anthers uniform. Ovary shortly stipitate, 2-many ovuled, styles inflexed, stigmas terminal, capitate. Fruit a lomentum, turgid, 1-seeded, indehiscent, folded together within the calyx. Seeds orbicular or subglobose.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Leaves 5-9 foliolate 2
1b. Leaves 1-3-foliate 3
2a. Leaflets linear; pedicels shortly bristly; joints of pod whitish, shining U. picta
2b. Leaflets oblong, pedicels clothed with long bristles; joints of pod opaque U. crinita
3a. Pod 1-6 jointed, straight 4
3b. Pod more than 6 jointed, contorted U. leptostachya
4a. Racemes up to 29.5 cm long; pedicels 8-10 mm long U. lagopus
4b. Racemes up to 14 cm long; pedicels 2.5-6.0 mm long 5
5a. Racemes 10-14 cm long, flowers lax, calyx-lobes 3-5 mm long; pods 5-6 jointed U. rufescens
5b. Racemes 3-8 cm long, flowers compact, calyx upper two lobes 3 mm, lower three lobes 5-9 mm long; pods 1-2 jointed U. lagopodoides