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Oriental Bean, Mambi Bean

Vigna umbellata F. Fabaceae


A sprawling, legume bush 30-75cm tall, with trailing stems 1- 2 metres long. Trifoliate hairy leaves to 10cm long, grow thick on the stems providing a very dense coverage on the plant. Clusters of bright yellow pea flowers make a bright display, followed by groups of 5-12 round pods to 10cm long, with 7-10 smooth seeds per pod. There are a number of varieties, varying from short-stemmed bushes to more erect plants, with differing colour seeds, which can be yellow, brown or mottled, all about the size of a grain of rice.

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Rice Bean
Rice Bean

Rice bean is a practical soil-improving, nitrogen-fixing, green manure crop. Stems can be cut and used as mulch and stock feed. Hens enjoy the green leaves. Rice bean is a valuable legume for erosion control on steep slopes and banks. Use this hardy, easy to grow legume as a weed smotherer. In Asia, the bean is planted in rice fields after rice harvests, to add nitrogen and humus to benefit future crops.

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