Dolicholus pyramidalis (Lam.) Britton & Wilson
Dolichos pyramidalis Lam.
Rhynchosia phaseoloides precatoria Griseb.
Rhynchosia pyramidalis varies from a small to large climbing plant with twining stems that are usually herbaceous but sometimes become more or less woody near their base[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of materials.
S. America - Bolivia, Peru, Colombia; C. America - Panama, Nicaragua to Mexico; western Caribbean.
Wet to dry thickets, often in second growth, frequent as a weed in hedges, sometimes in forest; at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
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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[
The seeds have narcotic properties and were utilized by some southern Mexican native peoples[
We have seen no specific entry for this species, but all members of this genus have at least some merit for use as a ground cover and in local soil conservation projects[
The handsome seeds are used commonly for making bracelets and necklaces[
]. The seeds are scarlet with a black side or end, or almost wholly black[
The stems and leaves are used by washerwomen to scrub dirt from clothing[
Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have ripened and dried the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. 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[
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