African Plant Database

Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC.
Protologue : Prodr. (DC.) 2: 405 (1825) 
Information on the genus : Mucuna
Basionym : Dolichos pruriens L.
Status for MA : accepted (present)
Status for SA : accepted (present)
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Synonym(s) Homotypic
 Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. var. pruriens
 Dolichos pruriens L. (1754)
 Stizolobium pruriens (L.) Medik.
 Dolichos pruriens' L. (1759)
Synonym(s) Heterotypic
=Mucuna bernieriana Baill. (1883)
=Mucuna axillaris Baker (1886)
Taxon infra-specific
Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. var. pruriens
Mucuna pruriens var. utilis (Wall. ex Wight) Baker ex Burck
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Slender climbing semi-woody herb 1-6 m long, sometimes stated to climb to the top of tall trees, usually annual or short-lived perennial; stems sparsely hairy or glabrous; leaflets thin, variable in size (5-19x4-17 cm);
  see more in the book
Ecology : Sterculia-Adansonia woodland, edges ofBrachystegia woodland, river banks, lake shores, pan margins, waste places, edges of cultivation; Acacia thickets; coarse grassland, grassland with scattered trees, bushland, riverine forest, etc...
  S. Africa (Natal); Madagascar, Comoros, Mascarenes, Mauritius, tropical Asia incl. Arabis, China, SE Asia, Malaysia (map, Wilmot Dear in Kew Bull. 47: 238, 1992); tropical America.
  Other varieties occur in SE Asia, the Philippines.
  [Var. utilis (Wall. ex Wight) Bak. ex Burck] - Velvet Bean. bas.: Mucuna utilis Wall. Ex Wight syn.: Stizolobium utile (Wall. ex Wight) Piper & Tracy; S. deeringianum Bort; S. niveum (Roxb.) O. Kuntze; Mucuna laborensis Sc
  Not in Ethiopia; earlier records are based on misidentified specimens of M. melanocarpa , but var. utilis cultivated in a few places.
Biol./Eco : Liana; Subhumid, Dry; Woodland, Anthropic; 0-499 m, 500-999 m; distribution: Comoros, Mascarenes, Africa, Asia.

Bibliography for Tropical Africa :
  • Cat. Pl. Vasc. Burkina Faso:240 (2012)
  • César J. & C. Chatelain (2019). Flore illustrée du Tchad. Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de Genève, Coopération Suisse & Univ. N'Djaména
More info on :
see under Jstor_African Plant Initiative
see under chg
see under The Euro-Mediterranean Plant Base
see under Flore d'Afrique Centrale
see under Fgui
see under The International Plant Name Index
see under Catalogue de Madagascar
see under African Plants - a Photo Guide
see under Missouri Botanical Garden
More information >> ( work in progress )
Record n°176701 modified 2009-07-31
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