Skip to main content
This genus is accepted, and its native range is Africa.
Psophocarpus

[FTEA]

Leguminosae, J. B. Gillett, R. M. Polhill & B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1971

Morphology General Habit
Herbs or subshrubs, mostly climbing or prostrate, less often erect
Morphology Leaves
Leaves 1-foliolate or pinnately 3-foliolate; stipules prolonged below the point of insertion; stipels present
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences axillary, falsely racemose or flowers solitary or fasciculate; rhachis swollen at the point of insertion of the pedicels
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 5-lobed; upper pair of lobes forming an entire or bifid lip
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla blue or purplish; standard broad, auriculate and appendaged, glabrous; keel bent at a right-angle
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Vexillary stamen free or somewhat connate in the middle; anthers 5 dorsifixed alternating with 5 basifixed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary 3–8-ovuled, winged; style thickened above the ovary, bent, flattened towards the apex, glabrous, bearded longitudinally or with a ring of hairs below the stigma, that part of the style situated above this row of hairs slightly bent; stigma terminal or internal, penicillate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Pods oblong, ± distinctly 4-winged along the angles, dehiscent, ± septate between the seeds
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds ovoid or oblong-ellipsoid, with or without an aril.

[LOWO]

Legumes of the World. Edited by G. Lewis, B. Schrire, B. MacKinder & M. Lock. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (2005)

Note

Previous accounts of the Phaseoleae by Baudet (1978) and Lackey (1981) recognised 90 and 84 genera and c. 1540 and 1480 species respectively in the tribe. In an equivalent, i.e. traditionally held view of Phaseoleae, 89 genera and (1554)–1567–(1580) species are treated here (Table 9; Fig. 47). Changes between Baudet (1978) and this treatment are that eleven genera are now in synonymy or have subsequently been placed in Millettieae, two genera have been transferred from Desmodieae and eight new genera have been added. Vigna has traditionally been thought to comprise some 150–200 species, but Vigna sens. strict. may contain fewer than 100.

Recent molecular analyses of the tribe, however, have emphasised both the polyphyletic and paraphyletic nature of Phaseoleae as traditionally circumscribed (Bruneau & Doyle, 1990; Doyle & Doyle, 1993; Delgado Salinas et al., 1993; Bruneau et al., 1995; Doyle et al., 1997, 2000; Kajita et al., 2001; Goel et al., 2001; Lee & Hymowitz, 2001). This has required a radical realignment of elements of the phaseoloids (Table 9; Fig. 47), with at least two major clades being evident: Phaseoleae subtribes Diocleinae and Ophrestiinae which together with tribe Abreae are allied to the core-Millettieae (Fig. 45), and the remaining groups comprising a Phaseoleae sens. lat. clade. The rbcL phylogeny of Kajita et al. (2001) and the ITS analysis of Hu et al. (2002) are equivocal as to which clade subtribe Clitoriinae belongs. Phaseoleae sens. lat. also includes two traditionally independent tribes, the Desmodieae and Psoraleeae. Delimiting a recircumscribed Phaseoleae sens. strict is thus very problematic. A solution may be to recognise a broad tribe Phaseoleae, comprising the subtribes Kennediinae, Cajaninae, Phaseolinae and Glycininae, assorted basally branching genera, and tribes Desmodieae and Psoraleeae (both treated at subtribal level).

Psophocarpus is basally branching in subtribe Phaseolinae (Bruneau et al., 1995), and placed further down the tree in a clade with Erythrina, sister to the combined Phaseolinae, Glycininae and Psoraleeae (Doyle et al., 2000)
Habit
Climbing herbs or subshrubs
Ecology
Seasonally dry tropical forest and forest margins, secondary vegetation, thicket, swamp, moist wooded grassland and grassland
Distribution
Africa and Madagascar, one widespread cultivated sp. (unknown in the wild), possibly Asian in origin; a further sp. introduced in the Mascarenes, Comoro Islands, Caribbean and S America

[FZ]

Leguminosae, B. Mackinder, R. Pasquet, R. Polhill & B. Verdcourt. Flora Zambesiaca 3:5. 2001

Morphology General Habit
Herbs or subshrubs, prostrate or climbing, rarely erect.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves pinnately 3-foliolate; stipules appendaged below the point of insertion; stipels present.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence an axillary pseudoraceme, subumbel or umbel; bracts and bracteoles present.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 5-lobed, the upper pair of lobes fused for all or part of their length; lower lobes various.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla mostly blue or mauve, rarely yellow; standard auriculate, appendaged.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 10, 9 with filaments fused, 1 free to the base or connate in the middle.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary stipitate; ovules 3–many; style thickened above the ovary, bent, flattened towards the apex, bearded longitudinally or with a ring of hairs below the stigma; stigma terminal or subterminal, penicillate or not.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit narrowly cylindrical, 4-winged, septate, dehiscent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds ovoid, oblong or square, brown to black or deep purple, with or without an aril.

[LOWO]
Use
Used as human food; P. tetragonolobus (L.) DC. (winged bean or Goa bean) is very widely cultivated as a protein-rich vegetable, the young shoots, young pods, flowers, seeds and tuberous roots are all edible; other species used for green manure, ground cover and fodder

Native to:

Angola, Benin, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Comoros, Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Assam, Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, Christmas I., East Himalaya, Egypt, Florida, Hainan, India, Jamaica, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad-Tobago, Vietnam, West Himalaya

Psophocarpus Neck. ex DC. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Prodr. 2: 403 (1825)

Accepted by

  • Lisowski, S. (2009). Flore (Angiospermes) de la République de Guinée Scripta Botanica Belgica 41: 1-517.

Literature

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • —F.T.A. 2: 208.

Flora Zambesiaca

  • Prodr. 2: 403 (1825) nom. conserv.
  • Verdcourt & Halliday in Kew Bull. 33: 191–227 (1978).

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Prodr. 2: 403 (1825), nom. conserv.

Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Legumes of the World Online
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0