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Velvet bean

Leguminosae Mucuna deeringiana (Bort.) Merr.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

This is a strong-growing annual plant native to the tropics. Most of the several varieties grown in the United States are M. deeringiana although some kinds are of other Mucuna species or interspecies hybrids. The slender stems may grow to 30 feet in some kinds. They are mainly grown with a support crop, usually corn, on which they climb and are partially supported. The leaves are trifoliate, with large ovate leaflets. Pods are pubescent, up to 6 inches long, with 3 to 6 seeds per pod. Velvet beans are well adapted to sandy soils and require a long growing season to produce much pasturage. They are grown mainly in the Southeastern Coastal Plain for late summer pasturage and soil improvement. All parts of the plant are nutritious and palatable to livestock.

Last update June 27, 1996 bha