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Useful Tropical Plants

Canavalia brasiliensis

Mart. ex Benth.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Canavalia amazonica Piper

Canavalia anomala Piper

Canavalia campylocarpa Piper

Canavalia caribaea Urb.

Canavalia fendleri Piper

Canavalia leptophylla Piper

Canavalia mexicana Piper

Canavalia panamensis Piper

Canavalia paraguayensis Piper

Canavalia prolific Piper ex Ricker

Common Name: Barbicou Bean

Canavalia brasiliensis
Flowers
Photograph by: O. M. Montiel
Creative Commons License
Canavalia brasiliensis Canavalia brasiliensis Canavalia brasiliensis Canavalia brasiliensis

General Information

Barbicou bean is a weakly perennial, prostrate to twining herbaceous plant[
415
Title
Tropical Forages
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Mainly focussed on forage plants, the site gives a lot of information on the plant, with a good botanical description, details of cultivation, plant uses and a good selection of photographs.
].
The plant is cultivated as a green manure and soil stabilizer. It is also sometimes used as a food in times of shortage.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela; north through the Caribbean to Florida; C. America - Panama to Mexico.

Habitat

Not known

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial Climber
Height0.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 26 - 30°c, but can tolerate 18 - 34°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 900 - 1,500mm, but tolerates 500 - 2,000mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Grows best in a sunny position[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Succeeds in most soils, including those of low fertility[
415
Title
Tropical Forages
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Mainly focussed on forage plants, the site gives a lot of information on the plant, with a good botanical description, details of cultivation, plant uses and a good selection of photographs.
]. There are indications that the plant may be somewhat tolerant of saline conditions[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 7, tolerating 4.3 - 8[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The plant survives, and can stay green, during 5 - 6 months of dry period - it then grows away quickly at the onset of the rains and as a result can suppress weeds[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
As a green manure, average dry matter (DM) production is 5,000 - 7,000 kg/ha/year, with extremes ranging from 1,700 - 14,200 kg/ha/year[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Seed - cooked. It is only eaten when better foods are not available[
415
Title
Tropical Forages
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Mainly focussed on forage plants, the site gives a lot of information on the plant, with a good botanical description, details of cultivation, plant uses and a good selection of photographs.
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant has a deep and ample root system and also fixes atmospheric nitrogen. It can be used as a green manure plant, to enrich fallow soil and to protect the soil from erosion control[
415
Title
Tropical Forages
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Mainly focussed on forage plants, the site gives a lot of information on the plant, with a good botanical description, details of cultivation, plant uses and a good selection of photographs.
]. It can contribute to amelioration of soil structure, to stabilization of erosion prone sites and to nutrient cycling.[
415
Title
Tropical Forages
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Mainly focussed on forage plants, the site gives a lot of information on the plant, with a good botanical description, details of cultivation, plant uses and a good selection of photographs.
]
Because of the medium decomposition and nitrogen mineralization rates of the biomass of this plant, nutrient release synchronizes well with the nutrient demand of annual crops such as maize and rice, when the green manure biomass is incorporated before sowing of the succeeding crop. As a result, nitrogen recovery is higher than for most other green manure plants and can reach nitrogen recovery rates of mineral nitrogen fertilizer[
415
Title
Tropical Forages
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Mainly focussed on forage plants, the site gives a lot of information on the plant, with a good botanical description, details of cultivation, plant uses and a good selection of photographs.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination[
415
Title
Tropical Forages
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Mainly focussed on forage plants, the site gives a lot of information on the plant, with a good botanical description, details of cultivation, plant uses and a good selection of photographs.
]. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. Germination rates up to 80% can be achieved from scarified seed[
415
Title
Tropical Forages
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Mainly focussed on forage plants, the site gives a lot of information on the plant, with a good botanical description, details of cultivation, plant uses and a good selection of photographs.
].

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