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Useful Tropical Plants

Psophocarpus palustris

Desv.

Fabaceae


This species has long been confused with Psophocarpus scandens. Most of the literature on plant uses that has been attributed to this plant should actually refer to Psophocarpus scandens[
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.
,
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. However, this species is also used as a food crop in Africa, and possibly also as a cover crop and green manure.

+ Synonyms

Psophocarpus palmettorum Guill. & al.

Common Name: African Winged Bean

Psophocarpus palustris
Ripening seedpods
Photograph by: Amadé Ouédraogo; African plants - A Photo Guide
© Amadé Ouédraogo
Psophocarpus palustris Psophocarpus palustris Psophocarpus palustris

General Information

African winged bean is a perennial climbing herb, producing stems usually 1 - 3 metres long but occasionally up to 8 metres[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
]. The stems, which are produced from a tuberous rhizome, scramble over the ground and twine around other plants for support[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].
The plant is mainly harvested from the wild for its edible leaves, seeds and seedpods, which are consumed locally. The plant is also sometimes cultivated as a food crop.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Tropical Africa - Sierra Leone to Sudan.

Habitat

Bushland; savannah; riverine forest by stream in savannah; moist grassy places, swampy sites; humid alluvium along margins of water lines; (wet) secondary forest near water; thicket on damp soil; edge of marigot[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial Climber
Height5.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Not known

Edible Uses

Leaves and young sprouts -cooked and used as a potherb[
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.
]. They are usually only harvested before the plant starts setting fruit[
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.
].

Immature seedpods[
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.
]. The seedpod is an oblong pod, square in cross-section and prominently four-winged, 3.5 - 8cm long by 6 - 7mm wide[
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.
].

Seeds[
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.
]. They can be roasted and ground into a flour[
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.
]. The blackish-purple seeds are oblong to cylindrical, 5 - 7.5mm long by 3.5 - 6 mm wide, 4 - 8 seeds being found in each pod[
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.
].

Young rhizomes - cooked and used as a vegetable[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - requires pre-treatment. Pre-soaking for 12 - 24 hours in warm water should soften the hard seedcoat and allow the seed to swell. If it does not swell, then making a small nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) should allow the seed to take up water[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

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