Sea Bean
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Sea Bean
P Native Photo: Aditya Gadkari
Common name: Sea Bean, Burny Bean, Black Bean, Burney Vine, Velvet Bean • Malayalam: Kakavalli
Botanical name: Mucuna gigantea    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Dolichos giganteus, Negretia gigantea, Carpopogon giganteus

Sea Bean is a large woody climber, growing to about 30 m long. The stem is at first thickly clad in orange-brown bristly hairs, and bears alternate, trifoliate leaves with leaf-stalks up to 15 cm long. The leaflets are ovate or elliptical, and up to 15 cm long; the lateral leaflets are oblique, and all leaflets have rounded bases and apiculate tips. Flowers grows from the leaf axil, and are borne in a drooping, umbel-like bunch with the individual flowers on short lateral stalks. Each flower has a cup-shaped sepal-cup with two lips, clad in fine greyish hairs. Petals are white, creamy-green or pale lilac; the standard is up to 3.5 cm long, and the wings and keel slightly longer. The fruits are oblong pods, covered in orange-brown bristly hairs at first, up to 15 cm long, each margin having two wings. The seeds are disc-like and dark brown or black. Sea Bean is found in Africa, South Asia to various Pacific islands.

Identification credit: Aditya Gadkari Photographed in South Andaman.

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