Indian Bean
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Indian Bean
P Native Photo: Milind Girdhari
Common name: Indian Bean
Botanical name: Vigna indica    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Vigna trilobata var. pusilla

Indian Bean is a trailing, perennial herb with a stout taproot. Stem is slender, 30-150 cm long, obscurely 4-6-angled, sparsely to densely velvet-hairy with 0.5-1.5 mm long. Leaves aew 3-foliolate, 1-7.5 cm long (including leaf-stalk), sparsely to densely velvet-hairy with 0.8-1.5 mm long white hairs; axis 4-12 mm long; stipules ovate to lanceshaped, 3.3-8 x 1.2 - 1.8 mm, peltate. Leaflets are membranous, velvet-hairy; end leaflet ovate to rhomboid with 3-5, deep to shallow spoon-shaped lobes or nearly entire, 1.5-4 x 1.2-3.8 cm, blunt or rounded at base, pointed or blunt at tip; lateral leaflets somewhat oblique with 3-5 spoon-shaped lobes or entire, 1.5-3.5 x 1-3 cm. Flowers are borne in a pseudoraceme, in leaf-axils, 5-10-flowered; flower-cluster-stalks slender, 5-18 cm long, axis 0.3 - 1.5 cm long. Flower-stalks are short. Flowers are pale yellow with purplish keel tip. Sepal-cup is bell-shaped, 1.6-2.1 mm long; tube 1-1.2 mm long; lobes 3-5-nerved. Standard is asymmetric, obliquely and transversely broadly elliptic, 3.2-3.5 x 5.8-6 mm, notched at tip; right wing petal conceals the upper portion of the keel petals, clawed; claw 0.6-0.9 mm long; blade obliquely ovate, 3.3-3.6 x 1.9-2.2 mm, eared; left wing petal spreading, clawed; blade 3.3-3.7 x 2.3 - 2.5 mm, eared; keel petals spirally incurved through about 240 degree, 5.5-5.8 mm long; pocket on the left keel-petal triangular, about 1 mm long, flattened. Pistil is 6-6.8 mm long. Pods are linear, cylindric, 1.5-3.8 x 0.2-0.3 cm. Indian Bean can easily be distinguished from other species by its cylindrical to nearly tetragonous seeds with flat ends. Indian Bean is native to India. Flowering: July-October.

Identification credit: Milind Girdhari Photographed near Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

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