A good deal of attention has lately been directed to this plant in consequence of the enormous extent to which it is cultivated in China for the sake of the small seeds which it produces, and which are known as soy beans. These vary considerably in size, shape, and color, according to the variety of the plant which produces them. They are for the most part about the size and shape of an ordinary field pea, and, like the pea, are of a yellow color; some, however, are of a greenish tint. These seeds contain a large quantity of oil, which is expressed from them in China and used for a variety of purposes. The residue is moulded with a considerable amount of pressure into large circular cakes, two feet or more across, and six inches or eight inches thick. This cake is used either for feeding cattle or for manuring the land; indeed, a very large trade is done in China with bean cake (as it is always called) for these purposes. The well-known sauce called soy is also prepared from seeds of this bean. The plant generally known as Soja hispida is by modern botanists referred to Glycine soja. It is an erect, hairy, herbaceous plant. The leaves are three-parted and the papilionaceous flowers are born in axillary racemes.
It is too tender for outdoor cultivation in this country, but, has been recommended for extended growth in our colonies as a commercial plant. The plants are readily used from seed.--J.R.F., in The Garden.
THE SOY BEAN. (Soja Lispida)