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Useful Tropical Plants

Pueraria phaseoloides

(Roxb.) Benth.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Dioscorea bolojonica Blanco

Dolichos phaseoloides Roxb.

Dolichos spicatus Benth.

Dolichos trilobus Houtt.

Neustanthus javanicus Benth.

Neustanthus phaseoloides Benth.

Neustanthus sericans Miq.

Neustanthus subspicatus Benth.

Pachyrhizus mollis Hassk.

Pachyrhizus montanus Blanco

Pachyrhizus teres Blanco

Phaseolus barbatus Wall.

Pueraria hirsute (Thunb.) C.K.Schneid.

Pueraria javanica (Benth.) Benth.

Pueraria subspicata (Benth.) Benth.

Common Name: Tropical Kudzu

Pueraria phaseoloides
Inflorescence
Photograph by: Rob Westerduijn
Creative Commons License
Pueraria phaseoloides Pueraria phaseoloides Pueraria phaseoloides Pueraria phaseoloides Pueraria phaseoloides

General Information

Pueraria phaseoloides is a vigorous, perennial climbing plant producing annual, stems up to 5mm in diameter and 2 - 10 metres long from a tuberous rootstock. These stems scramble over the ground, where they produce new roots at the nodes, and also twine into the surrounding vegetation for support[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
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.
,
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of fibre. It is one of the most important and widely cultivated cover crops in tropical plantations, and is cultivated in many tropical countries of Asia, Africa and America[
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

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 

Range

E. Asia - Himalayas to China, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Habitat

Found in broadleaved forests growing over rocks and into trees in the upper tropical and lower subtropical zones.

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitClimber
Height3.00 m
Growth RateFast
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Tropical kudzu is a plant of the wet tropics, where it is found at elevations up to ,1,600 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 15 - 30°c, but can tolerate 12 - 35°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.
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -2°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°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 1,200 - 3,200mm, but tolerates 850 - 4,300mm[
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.
].
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil[
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.
]. Succeeds in most soils of at least moderate fertility[
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 4.5 - 6.5, tolerating 3.5 - 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 can send its roots down 1.5 metres into the soil, which probably explains why it can continue to grow during dry periods[
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.
].
Pueraria phaseoloides has been extensively introduced in tropical and subtropical region of the world for use as forage for livestock, to control soil erosion, and to improve the soil. It is a vigorous, fast-growing vine that is listed as one of the most aggressive weeds that are invading moist habitats in tropical and subtropical regions. It spreads by seeds and by runners, which enable it to multiply rapidly and quickly colonize large areas of forest. It has the potential to degrade other plants by smothering them under a solid blanket of leaves, by girdling woody stems and tree trunks, and by breaking branches or uprooting entire trees and shrubs by the strength of its weight. Currently, it is classified as a ‘noxious weed’ in the United States, and as an invasive species in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Pacific Islands including Hawaii, Fiji, French Polynesia, Niue and New Caledonia[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Young plants grow away slowly for the first 3 - 4 months, but then grow rapidly and can cover the ground with their sprawling stems to a depth of 60 - 75cm within 12 months[
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 species has been classified into 3 varieties:-
Var phaseoloides is a cultivated strain. It is sometimes naturalized in west Africa and the Americas.
Var javanica is another cultivated strain. It is widely naturalized in Africa and the Americas.
Var subspicata is truly wild and occurs spontaneously in south and southeast Asia[
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.
].
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

The tuberous root can be eaten[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
,
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.
].

Medicinal

A decoction of the plant is used as an anti-infective agent[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].
A poultice of the plant is applied to ulcers and boils, especially in children[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
]. A decoction is also used internally[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].

A decoction of the crushed bark is used to aid a mother when giving birth[
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
].

The species is widely used in folk medicine[
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.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is a very productive cover and green-manure plant (often grown in mixed croppings with other leguminous species as Calopogonium and Centrosema)[
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.
]. It is grown amongst various plantation crops (often rubber, oil-palm, cocos, but also coffee, cocoa, citrus, sisal, clove, Cinchona etc)[
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.
]. The plant is shade tolerant and better adapted to tropical lowlands than Pueraria montana and therefore strongly recommended as component of integrated livestock-plantations systems in these areas[
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.
].
The plant is also used for soil conservation[
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.
].

Other Uses

The fibres obtained from the stems can be used like those of the true kudzu (Pueraria montana) for making rope, cloth etc[
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.
,
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
].

Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow in a warm greenhouse in early spring. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts[
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.
]. Cover the young plants with a frame or cloche until they are growing away well.
Cuttings of the current season's growth usually root well[
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-12-11. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Pueraria+phaseoloides>

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