Sickle Bean
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Sickle Bean
P Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Sickle Bean • Malayalam: Kattumuthira, Kattamara
Botanical name: Dolichos trilobus    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Dolichos cristatus, Dolichos falcatus, Dolichos tuberosus

Sickle Bean is a slender climber, with stems bristly. Leaves pinnately 3-foliolate; leaflets 1.5-9 x 2-9 cm, broadly ovate-rhombic or ovate, sometimes slightly to distinctly 3-lobed, rounded to tapering at the tip, rounded at the base, occasionally paler around the midvein, densely to sparsely velvet-hairy or becoming hairless on both surfaces, 3-veined from the base; leaf-stalk 1.1-7 cm long; rachis 2-14 mm long; leaflet-stalks 1–5 mm long; stipules 3–10 mm long, ovate-lanceshaped or elliptic, mostly pointed, 5–7-striped, erect or reflexed, persistent; stipels minute. Racemes 4 cm long, 2-flowered; bracts ovate, tapering. Flowers are reddish-mauve, purplish-blue, or pinkish, often with darker flushing or veining, sometimes greenish outside. calyx 6 mm long, upper 2 lobes fused, bristly; standard 15 mm broad, round, retuse; wings deep pinkish-purple, 8-15 x 9-12 mm, almost round; keel paler. Pods are 2.5-9.5 cm x 6-12 mm, oblong, sickle shaped, hairless or minute finely velvet-hairy on the surfaces, 4-7-seeded. Sickle Bean is found in Africa and East Asia.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Yelagiri Hills & Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

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