Vigna incana Taub.
Vigna decipiens Harv.
Vigna longiloba Burtt Davy
Vigna pongolensis Burtt Davy
Vigna pseudotriloba Harms
Vigna debanensis Martelli
Vigna esculenta (De Wild.) De Wild.
Liebrechtsia esculenta De Wild.
Vigna fragrans Baker f.
Vigna harmsiana Buscal. & Muschl.
Vigna violacea Hutch.
Vigna glandulosa Chiov.
Vigna keniensis Harms
Vigna sudanica Baker f.
Vigna taubertii Volkens ex Harms
Vigna ledermannii Harms
Vigna kotschyi Schweinf.
Liebrechtsia kotschyi (Schweinf.) De Wild.
Vigna neumannii Harms
Vigna buchneri Harms
Vigna spartioides Taub.
Liebrechtsia spartioides (Taub.) De Wild.
Liebrechtsia katangensis De Wild.
Vigna katangensis (De Wild.) T.Durand & H.Durand
Liebrechtsia schweinfurthii De Wild.
Vigna frutescens is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a woody rootstock (the tuber is often 5cm wide). The stems scramble over the ground, twining into the surrounding vegetation for support; they are usually 50 - 150cm long, but can be up to 400cm when supported by other plants. After being cut back by fire, the plant will often start flowering when the stems are only 7 - 20cm long and still erect, before the leaves appear[
The plant is harvested from the wild for its root, which is used locally as a food. The plant bears fragrant, beautiful lavender-violet flowers and is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens[
Africa - widespread from Ghana to Eritrea and Ethiopia, south to S. Africa, but absent from the areas of heavier rainfall.
Woodland with Combretum collinum, C. molle, Annona senegalensis; or with Combretum molle, Stereospermum kunthianum, Erythrina abyssinica, Entada abyssinica; Loudetia arundinacea grassland on shallow soil, mostly subject to seasonal burning; etc[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
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[
Roots - raw or cooked. The younger ones are often eaten raw, older ones either cooked or dried and ground to a powder[
]. The roots are rather fibrous, traditionally they would be chewed and the fibrous portion spat out. If the root is dried and powdered, the fibre can be separated by sieving prior to cooking
A fibre is obtained from the stem[
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