Rice Bean
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Rice Bean
A Native Photo: Huirem Bhabini
Common name: Rice Bean, red bean, climbing mountain bean, Mambi bean, Oriental bean • Manipuri: ꯆꯥꯛꯍꯋꯥꯢ Chak hawai • Nepali: मस्याङ Masyang
Botanical name: Vigna umbellata    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Phaseolus calcaratus, Vigna calcarata, Dolichos umbellatus

Rice Bean is an annual twining herb, with stems slender, 1 m or more, hairy with yellow hairs when young, later becoming hairless. Stipules are pel­tate, lanceshaped or ovate-lanceshaped, 1-1.5 cm. Leaves are trifoliate, leaflets ovate or lanceshaped, 10-13 x 5-7.5 cm, sparsely velvet-hairy on veins of both surfaces, base broadly wedge-shaped or blunt, entire or slightly lobed, 3-veined from base, tip pointed. Flowers are borne in racemes in leaf-axils, 2- or 3-flowered; bracts lanceshaped; flower-stalks short. Calyx is bell-shaped, 3-4 mm; teeth deltoid. Flowers are yellow, shaped like pea-flowers. Standard is oblong, about 1.5 cm, tip notched; wings obovate. Pods are linear-round, 6-10 x about 0.5 cm, hairless. Seeds are 6-10, dull red, brown, black, or speckled, oblong, 4-9 × 3-3.5 mm. Rice Bean is found wild or widely cultivated in Japan, Korea, Philippines, SE Asia, including NE India. It is eaten as dal in NE India. Flowering: May-September.

Identification credit: Huirem Bhabini Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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