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Useful Tropical Plants

Mucuna monosperma

Wight

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Carpopogon monospermum Roxb.

Mucuna anguina Wall.

Mucuna monosperma (Roxb.) DC.

Stizolobium monospermum (Wight) Kuntze

Stizolobium rugosum Moon

Common Name:

Mucuna monosperma
Drawing of the leaves, flowers, fruit and seed
Photograph by: Wallich, N., Plantae Asiaticae Rariores, vol. 3: t. 236 (1832) [Gorachand]
Creative Commons License

General Information

Mucuna monosperma is a large climbing shrub with twining stems.
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine.

Known Hazards

Mucuna species often possess irritant hairs on the seedpods and sometimes on the flowers and other parts. These hairs consist of 1-2 small basal cells and a large needle-like top cell. The top cell breaks off easily, piercing the skin and injecting chemical compounds that are present in the hairs. The proteolytic enzyme 'Mucunain' is said to be the active agent[
1533
Title
Notes on Malesian Fabaceae (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) 16. The genus Mucuna
Publication
Blumea 61, 2016: 90-124
Author
Wiriadinata H.; Ohashi H.; Adema F.
Website
http://dx.doi.org/10.3767/000651916X692799
Publisher
 
Year
2016
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment
].
The hairs can contaminate clothes or other objects, and remain active when dried, though they can be destroyed by heat[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
374
Title
Contact-Poisonous Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Rohde. M.
Website
http://mic-ro.com/plants/
Publisher
 
Year
2006
ISBN
 
Description
A document on the internet. Gives brief information on about 35 species of plants that can cause severe problems from a single contact with the skin.
,
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
]. Intense itching, with reddening of the skin and small papules or urticaria occur a few minutes after contact with the hairy parts of the plant. There is no serious danger, unless the hairs get into the eye, in which case, in extreme situations, they have caused blindness. To remove the hairs from the skin, adhesive tape and washing with water and soap are considered useful. Dermatitis can be treated with corticosteroid ointment. See a doctor immediately if hairs go into the eyes[
374
Title
Contact-Poisonous Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Rohde. M.
Website
http://mic-ro.com/plants/
Publisher
 
Year
2006
ISBN
 
Description
A document on the internet. Gives brief information on about 35 species of plants that can cause severe problems from a single contact with the skin.
].

Botanical References

464
Title
A Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon
Publication
 
Author
Trimen H.; continued by Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Dulau and Co; London.
Year
1898
ISBN
 
Description
Very dated, but still a useful work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
506
Title
The Flora of British India. (in 7 volumes)
Publication
 
Author
Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
L.Reeve & Co.; London
Year
1872 - 1897
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, but has some information on plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand.

Habitat

Thickets, disturbed forest and clearings; at elevations around 300 metres.

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitClimber
Height0.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Mucuna species generally grow best in a shady position in a humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil[
974
Title
Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants - Identification and Cultivation of over 3,000 Tropical Plants
Publication
 
Author
Ahmed Fayaz
Publisher
Firefly Books Ltd.; New Zealand
Year
2011
ISBN
978-1-55407-489
Description
A good photograph and terse but detailed information for over 3,000 species of tropical plants. An excellent reference.
].
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[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

This is a favourite vegetable with Brahmins[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
]. No more information is given.

Seed[
480
Title
Green Manures and Manuring in the Tropics
Publication
 
Author
Sornay P. De. Translated by Flattely F.W.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
John Bale, Sons and Danielsson Ltd.: London
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent work on the subject, even if it was written almost 100 years ago. It also includes a section of useful Legumes. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The boiled seeds are eaten in times of great scarcity[
1587
Title
Genetic Resources of Under-exploited Legumes/Tribal Pulses of Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu
Publication
J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. Vol. 35 No.2 (2011)
Author
Kalidass C. & Mohan V.R.
Publisher
 
Year
2011
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. No more information is given, but it is likely that the seed would need to be thoroughly cooked to render it wholesome[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

The plant (part not specified) is used as an expectorant in cough and asthma, and is applied externally as a sedative[
615
Title
Pharmacographia Indica
Publication
 
Author
Dymock W.; Warden C.J.H.; Hooper D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Education Society's Press, Byculla; Mombai.
Year
1890
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the principal plant medicines encountered in India in the 19th century.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-11-14. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Mucuna+monosperma>

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