If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Vigna hosei

(Craib) Backer

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Dolichos hosei Craib

Vigna oligosperma Backer

Vigna parkeri acutifolia Verdc.

Vigna parkeri acutifoliola Verdc.

Common Name: Sarawak Bean

Vigna hosei
Introduced as nitrogen-fixing groundcover, it often escapes cultivation.
Photograph by: kanoak
Creative Commons License
Vigna hosei Vigna hosei

General Information

Sarawak bean is a perennial plant producing stems 1 - 2 metres long that scramble over the ground or twine into any surrounding vegetation. The plant often forms new roots at the leaf nodes[
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 plant is an excellent ground cover and green manure crop, often cultivated in southeast Asia and also in other parts of the tropics.

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.

Range

?Southeastern Africa.

Habitat

Not known as a wild plant. Naturalized in southern china, where it grows in grass at roadsides, wastelands; at elevations below 500 metres[
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.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitPerennial Climber
Height1.00 m
PollinatorsSelf
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated

Cultivation Details

A plant of the wet tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,100 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 30°c, but can tolerate 15 - 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.
]. It does not tolerate frosts. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 3,000 - 3,500mm, but tolerates 2,500 - 4,000mm[
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.
].
Succeeds in full sun and in light shade[
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.
]. Succeeds in sandy to clayey soils and is tolerant of occasional waterlogging[
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 - 5, tolerating 4 - 5.5[
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 has a shallow root system and a low tolerance of drought[
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 commences about 6 months after planting, self-pollination is the rule[
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.
].
An outstanding characteristic of the plant is its persistence under shade, but full sunlight is required for good seed 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.
].
Seed production is often poor and only about 50 kilos per hectare can be harvested. Harvesting the seed on a field scale is also difficult[
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.
]. Besides producing normal aerial flowers and pods, the plant also produces flowers and pods which are hidden under the litter of leaves covering 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.
].
A ground cover of Vigna hosei can be removed easily by hoeing the soil, followed by a clean weeding[
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.
].
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. Although non-specific in its Rhizobium requirement, inoculation is preferably carried out with a selected cowpea strain such as CB 756[
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.
,
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is used as a green manure and ground cover crop in young tree plantations, and also in rubber, tea and coconut plantations. Seedling growth is vigorous and young plants quickly suppress weed growth, forming a thick mat of growth with a dense leaf litter, which protects the soil from erosion and prevents the ingress of weeds. Its ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen enriches the soil and promotes the growth of the trees[
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.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Due to its persistence under shade, the plant can enrich a mixture of leguminous covers for young plantation trees. Being a low-growing creeper, it hardly climbs trees, which is considered important for a good 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 plant is also being trialled as a green manure in association with annual crops[
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 sown as a cover crop it may be mixed with other leguminous covers such as Calopogonium mucunoides, Centrosema pubescens and Pueraria phaseoloides[
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.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up 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.
Prior to sowing, the seeds may be inoculated with compost containing an appropriate Rhizobium strain[
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.
]
Cuttings - it is recommended to plant during the rainy season and to use 20cm long, 3-noded cuttings planted 100 - 150cm apart[
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.
].

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.