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 Cereals and Pulses
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Winged Bean
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Rye
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Rice Bean
Garden Pea
Lentil
Jack Bean
 
 
 
 

 
Winged Bean

An Introduction
More popular as Goa Bean, Winged Bean is a tropical leguminous plant. The beans produced can give a run to Soybeans in nutritional quality. Although it is a herbaceous perennial plant which has a life of two years yet these Perennials, especially small flowering plants like Winged Beans, grow and bloom over the spring and summer and die every autumn and winter. Interestingly these plants again return in the spring from their root-stock rather than seedling themselves like an annual plant.

Climate Conditions
Scientifically known as Psophocarpus Tetragonolobus this legume vine is native to Papua New
Guinea. Winged Bean plant sprouts in hot, humid equatorial countries and mostly in Phillipines, Indonesia, India, Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka. The reason being that this legume grows in abundance in regions which are humid and receive high rainfall. As it is a tropical plant, it is highly sensitive to frost and therefore it does not flower if the day length exceeds 12 hours.
 
Description
The Winged Bean plant is usually taller and larger than the Common Bean. With the help of climbing stems and leaves, it grows as a vine which is normally 3-4 m in height. The reason why is it called Winged bean is because of its bean pod which is typically 15-22 cm long and has four wings decorated with frilly edges running along the length. The young pods have waxy skin and partially translucent flesh. The ripeness of the pod is indicated by the ash brown color  which splits wide open to let out the seeds. Seeds bear a hard coat which helps to presoak the seeds prior to plantation to hasten germination. The inbuilt quality of the seeds help the plant grow in a fastened manner thus reaching the length of four meters in merely a couple of weeks.
 

Benefits
One Species Supermarket

  • The Winged Bean plant is well known as "one species supermarket", simply because the entire plant is edible. The beans are eaten as a vegetable and the other parts such as leaves, flowers and tuberous roots also form  a nutritious as well as delicious ingredients.
  • The flowers are usually used to color rices and pastries.
  • The roots can be eaten as root vegetable and surprisingly they taste far better than potatoes and are highly rich in protein.
  • The dried seeds are also used to make flour and a drink which is similar to coffee.
  • Boiled Winged Bean seeds are also used as snacks in many countries.
  • The seeds are a huge source of vital Vitamins especially Vitamin A.
  • These beans bear a similarity to Soybeans and are as nutritional as well. These contain about 29.8% to 39% protein.
  • Being one of the best nitrogen fixers in mutual relationship with soil bacterium Rhizobium it acts as a soil fertilizer thus nourishing the soil as well.
  • It is just that Winged Beans need a well groomed breeding to be able to raise the standard of living and justifiably the taste as well for the millions of people residing in poor, tropical countries.