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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Ononis (restharrows)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Fabales > Fabaceae > Subfamily: Papilionoideae

About 75 species (Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Ethiopia and Iran); five species have been cultivated in southern Africa.

The common name derives from the fact that these plants often grow as weeds in fields in Europe and their tough stems tended to stop the harrow.

Species cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Ononis arvensis

Native to Eurasia.


Ononis mitissima

Native from the Mediterranean to Madeira.


Ononis natrix (Large yellow restharrow)

Native to southwestern Europe.


Ononis spinosa (Spiny restharrow)

Native to Europe.

Ononis viscosa




  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.