Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Mucuna bracteata
DC. ex Kurz, Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Evaluate, score: 6 (Go to the risk assessment).

Other Latin names:  Stizolobium bracteatum (DC. ex Kurz) Kuntze

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: huang mao li dou

Habit:  vine

Description:  "Twining vines. Stems glabrous or with dense short pale adpressed hairs. Leaves 14-30(-40) cm; petiole 6-11 cm; stipels 2-5 mm, robust; leaflets thickly papery or almost leathery, adaxially sparsely or densely hairy with hairs denser on veins, abaxially densely hairy with hairs sparser on veins, rarely glabrous on both sides, lateral veins 5-7 pairs, prominent and conspicuous, straight and running into margin; terminal leaflet rhombic or sometimes rhombic-obovate or broadly ovate, 7-14 x 5.6-11(-13) cm, base broadly cuneate to rounded, apex acute or slightly acuminate; lateral leaflets 7-14 x 4-9 cm, width ratio of abaxial to adaxial halves 2-3:1, base on abaxial side truncate. Inflorescence axillary, 18-41 cm, with usually more than 12 flowering nodes always clustered in upper 2/3 of inflorescence; lower part of inflorescence axis with many bracts or their scars; bracts and bracteoles persistent at flowering and often fruiting time, hairy, bracts obovate to lanceolate or linear-lanceolate; pedicels 4-7 mm, densely short spreading hairy and often with longer fine bristles. Calyx densely clothed with soft hairs and yellow-brown irritant bristles; tube 4-7 x 7-10 mm; lateral 2 lobes 2-4 mm, lowest 5-6 mm. Corolla deep purple; standard 1.6-2.3 cm; wings 2.5-3.3 cm x 6-8 mm; keel 2.5-4.3 cm. Legume linear, not or slightly swollen around seeds, straight or slightly downcurved, 6-9 x 1.2-1.6 cm, fleshy, clothed with dark brown irritant hairs. Seeds 3-6, brown or black, usually with pinkish brown marks, ellipsoidal, ca. 9 x 6 mm, ca. 4 mm thick; hilum ca. 5 mm.

This species is extremely similar to Mucuna pruriens and is only distinguished by the thickly textured robust-veined ovate-rhombic leaflets with indumentum abaxially conspicuously sparser on the veins than on the leaf surface, the lower part of the inflorescence with many flowerless nodes with scars or persistent bracts, and the almost straight legume"  (Flora of China online).

Habitat/ecology:  In China (native), "forests, grasslands, roadsides, by rivers; 600-2000 m"  (Flora of China online).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  India, southern and western China, Southeast Asia (GRIN).


Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
India (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Andaman Islands
Andaman Islands native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)

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This page was created on 9 MAR 2012 and was last updated on 12 MAR 2012.