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Useful Tropical Plants

Psophocarpus scandens

(Endl.) Verdc.

Fabaceae


This species used to be included in Psophocarpus palustris, and is still often confounded with it[
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.
]. Most agronomic information on Psophocarpus palustris should be attributed to this species[
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.
].

+ Synonyms

Diesingia scandens Endl.

Dolichos suffultus Graham

Mucuna comorensis Vatke

Psophocarpus comorensis (Vatke) Baill.

Psophocarpus golungensis Welw. ex Romariz

Psophocarpus longipedunculatus Hassk.

Psophocarpus mabala Welw.

Psophocarpus palmettorum auct.

Psophocarpus palustris auct.

Stizolobium comorense (Vatke) Piper

Common Name: Tropical African Winged Bean

Psophocarpus scandens
Cultivated plants
Photograph by: Scamperdale
Creative Commons License
Psophocarpus scandens Psophocarpus scandens Psophocarpus scandens Psophocarpus scandens

General Information

Tropical African winged bean is a vigorous, perennial, climbing plant producing stems 1 - 6 metres long from a non-tuberous rootstock. The stems scramble over the ground and twine into other shrubs etc for support.
The plant is mainly gathered from the wild as a food plant for local use. However, it is also sporadically grown in several parts of the tropics, where it is used mostly as a cover crop in plantations, a green manure and as a vegetable[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.

Range

Tropical Africa - Nigeria to Sudan, south to Angola, Zambia, Mozambique and Madagascar.

Habitat

Prefers swampy localities, periodically flooded forest and river banks, but occurs also in drier localities such as grassland, thickets and fallow land[
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.
].

Properties

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

Cultivation Details

A plant mainly of lowland tropical areas, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,000 metres[
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.
]. It grows best in areas with a mean annual rainfall of 1,200 - 1,800mm and a mean annual temperature of 25°c[
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.
].
Plants thrive in full sunlight, but also tolerate some shade[
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.
]. Prefers damp sites near lakes, marshes, ponds, rivers and streams, but also occurs in drier environments[
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.
]. It grows well on heavy, swamp soils, but has also succeeded on gley soils of low humus content, with a loamy-clay texture[
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.
].
Early establishment of seedling plants is slow[
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.
]. Once well established, however, growth is vigorous[
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.
].
Flowering can commence about 115 days after sowing[
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.
].

When grown mixed with other cover crops, this species may overgrow and suppress the companion crops within a year, remaining as the sole cover crop after two years[
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.
].
Planted as a ground cover, the ends of the shoots rise and twine. In dense stands, they may find mutual support and intertwine, forming loose strands or conical heaps rising well above the rest of the cover crop. These heaps become top-heavy, bend and are then taken up in the cover crop[
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.
]. The sprouts of new shoots may form similar heaps which intermingle with the older ones forming an airy, but closed soil cover[
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.
].
Branches may root at the nodes where they touch the soil[
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.
].

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.
].

Medicinal

A tea from the leaves is taken to relieve stomach-ache[
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 leaves are recommended as a galactagogue for women who are breastfeeding[
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 made into a poultice are applied in the treatment of lumbago, wounds and haemorrhoids[
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 seedpods are eaten by nursing mothers in order to stimulate milk production[
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.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Psophocarpus scandens is grown as a cover crop and green manure in Africa and Asia in oil palm or rubber plantations; with bananas, maize, cassava etc[
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.
].
In DR Congo, people plant African winged bean on open land, often in association with sweet potatoes[
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.
].

Other Uses

The plant is a source of tannins[
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.
].

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.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-10-16. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Psophocarpus+scandens>

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