Purple Mucuna
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Purple Mucuna
P Native Photo: C. Rajasekar
Common name: Purple Mucuna • Malayalam: Naikorana, Chirithelly • Tamil: Erumaikkali, Periyatalarkoti, Talargodi • Telugu: Gededoolagondi, Gededula
Botanical name: Mucuna atropurpurea    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)

Purple Mucuna is a large twining shrub, with stem minutely bristly. Leaflets are 7 x 3.5 cm, ovate, pointed at base and tip, nerves 3 pairs; leaf-stalk 3-4 cm long. Flowers are borne in stout, drooping panicles in leaf axils. Flowers are reddish purple; standard 3-3-5 cm long, slightly over - keel length, tip slightly cleft, basal ears up to 2 mm long; wings fairly wide, 5.2-6.5 x 1-2 cm, tip narrowly rounded, basal claw 6-7 mm and ear 2 mm long; keel equalling wing in length, basal claw 6 mm and ear 2-5 mm long. Sepals are usually all of similar length and rather broad throughout length. Pods are up to 10 x 5 cm, broadly oblong, woody, transversely obliquely ridged, covered with reddish bristles; seeds reddish, polished. Purple Mucuna is found in Peninsular India and Sri Lanka.

Identification credit: C. Rajasekar Photographed in Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu.

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