Closely related to Vinga mungo[
]. There has been confusion on the taxonomic status of Vigna mungo and Vigna radiata; because they are closely related it was proposed that they be grouped into a single species. However, at present they are considered as 2 separate species with as major differences: flower colour (bright yellow in Vigna mungo, pale yellow in Vigna radiata), pocket on the keel (longer in Vigna mungo than in Vigna radiata), fruit shape (pods of Vigna mungo are shorter and erect on the peduncle, in Vigna radiata the pods are longer and spreading or pendulous)[
Azukia radiata (L.) Ohwi
Phaseolus abyssinicus Savi
Phaseolus aureus Roxb.
Phaseolus aureus Wall.
Phaseolus hirtus Retz.
Phaseolus hirtus Wall.
Phaseolus radiatus L.
Rudua aurea (Roxb.) F.Maek.
Common Name: Mung Bean
Mung bean is an erect or semi-erect annual plant growing 13 - 130cm tall from a well-developed taproot. It can be a much-branched, bushy plant, or have somewhat twining stems and a climbing habit[
The plant is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas for its edible seed[
]. It also has traditional medicinal uses, can be used as a soap and is grown as a green manure and cover crop.
E. Asia - China, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, New Guinea.
Not known in a truly wild situation[
]. Naturalized in open wastelands, roadsides, thicket margins, at elevations up to 500 metres in southern China[
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A plant of the drier tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 21 - 36°c, but can tolerate 8 - 40°c[
]. The plant does not tolerate frost. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 650 - 900mm, but tolerates 500 - 1,250mm[
]. Plants do well when treated as a dry season crop[
]. Seed set can be adversely affected by rainfall during the flowering period[
Prefers a sunny position, tolerating light shade[
]. Grows best in a well-drained soil rich in organic matter, succeeding in sandy to clayey soils[
]. Some cultivars are tolerant of moderately saline and alkaline conditions[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.2, tolerating 4.3 - 8.3[
]. Established plants are moderately drought resistant[
Young pods can be harvested in about 2 months from sowing the seed[
]. A yield of dried seeds can be obtained within 50 - 120 days[
Yields of 400 - 700 kilos of dried seed per hectare can be obtained[
There are many named varieties[
Two main sets of cultivars have been identified:-
Golden gram has yellow seeds, the pods often shatter at maturity.
Green gram has dark or light green seeds, the pods ripen more uniformly and are less likely to shatter[
Cultivars can be short-day, long-day or daylength-neutral[
The plant has deeply penetrating, vigorous roots[
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[
]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.
Mature seed - cooked or sprouted[
]. The dried seeds are boiled and used in a wide range of ways[
]. For example, they can be eaten as a vegetable, added to soups and stews or they can be fermented into Indian dishes such as idli[
]. The seed is often also sprouted and either used in salads or cooked[
]. The seed is split in two, then fried and eaten as a snack[
]. The seed can also be ground into a powder and used in making dishes such as starch noodles, biscuits, bread etc[
The globose to ellipsoid or cube-like seeds are commonly green but can sometimes be a range of other colours. They are 25 - 40mm long and up to 3mm wide[
Young seedpods - cooked[
]. The pods are 6 - 10cm long and 4 - 6mm wide[
Leaves - cooked[
The seeds are said to be a traditional source of cures for paralysis, rheumatism, coughs, fevers and liver ailments[
The plant can be grown as a green manure or cover crop, enriching the soil with the nitrogen formed on its roots[
The seed flour is rich in saponins and can be used as a soap substitute. It makes the skin smooth and soft[
Seed - soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in situ. Germination takes place at temperatures above 12°c, with 25°c being the optimum, when the seed can sprout within 3 - 7 days. The seed will germinate even in a fairly dry soil[