Velvet Bean - Plant
Description for Velvet Bean
Velvet bean is a minor leguminous crop, many cultivars of which are suitable for the more humid regions of the tropics, while others, e.g. the Mauritius velvet bean, are suitable for dryland farming. They can be grown successfully on soils unsuitable for cowpeas, but have the disadvantage of a longer growth period and are more difficult to thresh.
Moreover, the seed is not highly valued for human or animal feeding, because of the prolonged soaking and, or, boiling required before it can be consumed safely. The leaves and vines make an excellent fodder.
|Common name||Flower colours||Bloom time||Height||Difficulty|
|Mucuna||-||-||15-30 feet.||easy to grow|
Planting and care
The Velvet Bean produces little seed unless they are grown with an upright crop like corn so the vines can climb and bear their flowers where there is air circulation. This also avoids pod decay. Velvet Beans yield about 1,000 pounds of beans per acre.
|Sunny||A wide range of soil types are suitable, including heavy clays, provided that they are well drained, since velvet beans cannot stand waterlogging with a pH of between 5-6.5.||Velvet beans are often grown in the tropics and subtropics in areas with an average rainfall of between 1200-1500 mm/yr., or more.||A warm equable temperature of 20-30C throughout the growing period is preferred.||any organic fertilizer|
Caring for Velvet Bean
Typical uses of Velvet Bean
Medicinal use: The possibility of utilizing velvet beans as a commercial source of L-dopa (which is relatively expensive to produce synthetically), used in the treatment of Parkinsons disease.
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