Horse Bean
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Horse Bean
ative Herb trifoliate Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Horse Bean, Jack bean, Sword bean • Kannada: Tamate balli • Marathi: अबई Abai • Mizo: Fangra
Botanical name: Canavalia ensiformis    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)

Horse Bean is a fast-growing, usually erect, sometimes shrubby twining annual up to l m high, with runners occasionally extending to 10 m. Deep rooted and drought resistant. Leaves pinnately 3-foliate, 25-30 cm long. Ovate leaflets 7-17 cm. Flowers occur in 10-12 flowered, curved, axillary racemes 10-20 cm long. Flowers are deep pink, and have the usual pea flower form. Pods are 15-30 cm long and shaped so as to invite a name like sword bean. The seeds are edible but somewhat toxic if consumed in large quantities. Mostly used for human food or green manure, but in some countries cultivated under irrigation as fodder. The forage is palatable only when dried. Due to toxicity, caution is required in feeding herbage and pods of jack bean.

Identification credit: Pravin Kawale Photographed in Alibag, Maharashtra.

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