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.
(a Malabar name). Syn. Pusaetha. Legu-minbsse. Tropical woody spineless climbers.
Leaves bipinnate, often cirrhiferous: flowers not papilionaceous, white or yellow, in slender spike-like racemes which are solitary or panicled; calyx campanulate, shortly 5-toothed; petals 5, free or somewhat coherent; stamens 10, free, short-exserted: pod straight or arcuate, flat-compressed, jointed, the joints separating and leaving a continuous border. - Perhaps 20 species of high climbers in Africa and Amer. The genus is remarkable for the jointed pods, which sometimes reach several feet in length. Two of the American species are mentioned as planted in S. Fla. Some of the species yield "sea beans" (G. F. 7:503).
DC. At length tendril-bearing: pinnae in 4-6 pairs; lfts, in 6-8 pairs, oblong, rounded at apex, beneath glabrous or puberulent: racemes in terminal panicles: pod oblong, straightish, reaching 1 ft. in length. W. Indies to Venezuela and Guiana. - Makes a rapid growth.
Benth. Climbing to a great height, tendril-bearing, the stems terete: pinnae 1 or 2 pairs; leaflets2-5 pairs, coriaceous, oblong or elliptic, usually unequal-sided, glabrous or nearly so beneath: racemes solitary or twin: pod twisted, sometimes8ft.long. W. Indies,Africa,Asia, Pacific Ms. G.C. II. 15:430. - Seeds 2 in. across, dark brown or purple, handsome, used in the making of trinkets and small receptacles. Leaves long-stalked, the rachis commonly ending in a tendril. l, H B