Mucuna gigantea (Fabaceae)

Mucuna gigantea DSC_0182

This native vine is nowhere as grandiose and flashy as its exotic New Guinean relative Mucuna novo-guinensis but there is something subtly and quietly beautiful about the cluster of light cream yellow flowers that hang gracefully from a long pendant stalk. I picture the grace of ballet dancers.

The seed pod ripens black and are often covered fine irritant hairs – a rather common trait in some species of Mucanas. The slightly flatten black seeds are often referred to as Burney Beans. These seeds are buoyant and can be dispersed by water or ocean currents and to withstand such rough rides, these seeds need to be durable. As such they have a hard coat – a trait that has led to its prominence in modern and ancient seed jewellery making.

Mucuna gigantea DSC_0183

About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Fabaceae (Pea family), Habitat - Rain forest, Lifeform - Climbers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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