This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(old Greek name). Leguminbsx. Tropical twiners (a bush variety of D. Lablah is now being offered by seedsmen), of which a few forms are in cultivation, some for ornament and some for forage.
Keel of the corolla narrow and bent inward at right angles, but not distinctly coiled; style bearded under the stigma, which is terminal; stipules small. For botanical distinctions between Dolichos, Phaseolus and Vigna see Vigna. The styles are points of difference (Fig. 1340). D. japonicus, a most worthy ornamental vine, will be found under Pueraria. For D. ses-quipedalis, see Vigna - Perhaps 50-60 species, widely distributed. Three species of Dohchos are now grown in Amer.
A. Style bearded only on a ring surrounding and just below the stigma. biflorus, Linn. This species is now being introduced from India, where it is frequently used as a forage plant. It differs from D. Lablab in having the upper lip of the calyx 2-toothed and from D. Lablab and D. lignosus in having only a ring or brush of hairs just beneath the stigma, whereas the styles of the other species are bearded on a line extending down the inner face. The seeds are small (average weight .035 gram) and rather strongly flattened. Their approximate dimensions are length 1/5-1/4in., width 7-Jin., thickness 1/12in. (2-2 1/2 mm.).
aa. Style bearded along the inner side.
B. Seeds small, 1/6-1/5in on long by 1/8- 1/6in. broad, average weight .02 grams.
Linn. Australian Pea. Fig. 1339. Evergreen: flowers white or rosy purple: leaves much smaller than in D. Lablab. A perennial rapidly growing vine, suitable for covering fences and outbuildings in warm countries; highly recommended in S. Calif, and Ariz. B.M. 380. - A form with white flowers is offered by seedsmen as D. alba.
Fig. 1339. Leaves of Dolichos. A, D. Lablab; B, D. lignosus.
bb. Seeds large, 1/3-1/2 long by 1/4-2/5. broad, average weight .10-.30 grams.
Lablab, Linn. (D. cultratus, Thunb. D. purpureus, Lindl. Lablab cultratus, DC). Hyacinth Bean. Figs. 1339, 1340, 1341. Tall-twining (often 10-20 ft.): lfts, broad-ovate, rounded below and cuspidate-pointed at the apex, often crinkly: flowers purple or white, rather large, 2-4 at the nodes, in a long erect raceme: pods small (2-3 in. long) and flat, usually smooth, conspicuously tipped with the persistent style; seed black, mahogany or gray, in the white-fid. varieties, white, small (average weight about 1/4 gram). Tropics. B.M. 896. B.R. 830. A.G. 14:84. - Cult, in this country as an ornamental climbing bean, but in the tropics the pods and seeds are eaten. Annual. It is easily grown in any good garden soil. Like common beans it will not endure frost. It is very variable. White-fid. and dwarf bush forms are now offered by seedsmen. A form with white flowers and very large growth is known among horticulturists as D. giganteus (Fig. 1342).
D. pseudopachyrrhizus. Harms, recently introduced into some of the European gardens from tropical Africa, is a perennial form with a large tuberous rootstock: stems long, round or angular: leaves long-stalked, 3-foliolate; lfts, very variable in shape, the lateral often ovate or elliptic and the terminal broadly rhomboid, 3 1/4-8 in. long, 2 1/2-7 in. broad: flowers small, chiefly violet-blue, in racemes 1/2-1 3/4 ft. long.
Geo. F. Freeman.
Fig. 1340. Types of styles. 2, D. Lablab; 2, Vigna sinensis; 3, V. sesouipedalis.
Fig. 1341. Calyx cups and styles of Dolichos. 1, D. lignosus; 2, D. Lablab.