Mucuna gigantea   (Willd.) DC.  (Plant)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Equisetopsida

Extensively spreading stout woody climbers. Leaves 10-20 cm long; petioles 8-12 cm long; leaflets 8-10 x 4-7 cm, ovate-elliptic, unequal sided, glabrous, acute at apex, rounded at base. Flowers 4-6.5 cm across, yellow, drooping in axillary umbelliform racemes on 15-20 cm long woody peduncles. Pods 8-15 cm, flattened, broadly winged on both the sutures, clothed with golden-brown irritant bristles. Seeds 2-4, compressed with hilum extending more than half the seed.

Flowering and fruiting during August- December.

This species is at once recognised in the field by its flattened pods covered with golden brown bristly hair which causes immense inflation and itching on contact.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Alshi Lata (Bengali)
• Kiwach (Hindi)
• Soui Nata (Oriya)
• Poonai Kali (Tamil)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Seeds are considered medicinal and rich in protein.)

Habitat:  Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Producer


• West Bengal, Sundarbans INDIA
• Orissa, Mahanadi INDIA
• Kerala, Malabar Coast INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Banerjee, LK; Sastry, RK and Nayar MP (1989) Mangroves in India: Identification manual Botanical survey of India, Calcutta, India Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -

Page last updated on:2010-09-01

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