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  Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC.
  Family Name : Fabaceae (Leguminosae)

  Common Names : Winged Bean, Kachang Botor, Winged Pea, Goa Bean, Manila Bean, Asparagus Pea, Prince's Pea, Princess Pea, Dambala, Four Angled Bean

  Chinese Name : 四角豆

Winged Bean,Kachang Botor,Winged Pea,Goa Bean,Manila Bean,Asparagus Pea,Prince's Pea,Princess Pea,Dambala,Four Angled Bean
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Climber, Vine & Liana
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Maximum Height :
      3 m to 7 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Uncertain, but some believe it may be East Africa, Papua New Guinea or India
      Native Habitat :
      Preferred Climate Zone :
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      [Others]: Growth Form: Herbaceous perennial. A climber that grows 3 - 4 m in height. Habitat: Cultivated in tropical environments at altitudes from 0 - 2000 m. Foliage: Leaves green and trifoliate (compound leaves each consisting of 3 leaflets). Leaflets large (8 – 15 cm long, 8 – 15 cm wide at the broadest point) and ovate (lateral leaflets) or deltoid (terminal leaflet). Flowers: Pea-like flowers classified as papilionaceous are usually light blue, but occasionally white (2.5 - 3.5 cm wide). Fruits: Fruits are elongated pods (15 – 30 cm long, 3 cm wide) and square or rectangular in cross-section. Frilly or sometimes smooth wings protrude along the length of the pod at each corner. At maturity, pods break open to release 5 - 21 approximately round, smooth seeds. Cultivation: Hardy plant that grows well in hot, humid environments with high rainfall. Sensitive to frost. Tolerates various types of soils, but does not grow well in soils that are waterlogged or have a pH < 5.5. Allow 50 cm of space between plants. Although it receives nutrients through its symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, you can fertilize with manure to maximize growth. Stake the plant or use a trellis to maximize fruit production. Requires a photoperiod (duration of daylength) of less than 12 hours to flower. Growth is initially slow when young (0 - 6 weeks), so weed carefully during this growth stage. Begin harvesting the fruits 10-12 weeks after planting. This species is susceptible to false rust, dark leaf-spot, root knot nematodes and various insects pests (eg., Maruca testulalis, Mylabris afzelli, Mylabris pustulata, Heliothis armigera and Icerya purchasi). Propagation: Propagate by seed. Soak seeds or nick their surface before planting to speed germination. Apply fungicide to the seeds before planting (eg., 3 g thiram per 100 g seed). Etymology: The genus name of “Psophocarpus” means noisy fruit. Some plants in this genus have pods that make a popping noise when they dehisce and release their seeds. The “tetra” part of the species epithet “tetragonolobus“ means four and refers to the four sides of the fruit.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits; Edible Leaves)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable)
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits; Edible Leaves)
      [Others]: Ethnobotanical uses: This species is cultivated in many places within the tropics, from India to New Guinea. Nearly all parts of the plant are edible (eg., roots, leaves, fruits, seeds, flowers). Pods typically eaten when immature (~ 3 cm long). In Myanmar, the roots are consumed raw or boiled. In Papua New Guinea, young leaves and flowers are consumed as part of salads. Flowers are also used to color food products, like rice and pastries. The leaves are rich in vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. Seeds are rich in protein (35%), oil (18%), calcium and iron. They can be used to make flour, oil, milk, a coffee-like drink or tofu. The various parts of the plant are nutritious food for livestock. It is also grown for short periods of time and then plowed into the soil to enrich the soil with organic matter and nutrients like nitrogen.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Dry Soils / Drought
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Caterpillar Food Plant
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun, Semi-Shade
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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