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Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)

  GRIN Taxonomy for Plants
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Taxon: Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC.

Genus: Mucuna
Family: Fabaceae (alt. Leguminosae) subfamily: Faboideae tribe: Phaseoleae. Also placed in: Papilionaceae
Nomen number: 24652
Place of publication: Prodr. 2:405. 1825
Name verified on: 12-Mar-1987 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 23-Aug-1994
Species priority site is: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit, Griffin, GA (S9).
Accessions: 2 in National Plant Germplasm System.
  • all available ) NPGS accessions. or .
  • all available ) NPGS accessions by country.
  • Check PlantSearch database of Botanic Gardens Conservation International for possible non-NPGS germplasm.

See also subordinate taxa:

Common names:

  • Bengal velvet-bean   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – English   [Mucuna pruriens var. utilis]
  • cow-itch   (Source: CRC MedHerbs ed2 ) – English
  • cow-itch   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – English   [Mucuna pruriens var. pruriens]
  • cowage   (Source: CRC MedHerbs ed2 ) – English
  • cowage velvet-bean   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – English   [Mucuna pruriens var. utilis]
  • Florida velvet-bean   (Source: Hortus 3 [as M. deeringiana]) – English   [Mucuna pruriens var. utilis]
  • lacuna-bean   (Source: J. duCellier, p.c. [via email on 12 Jul 1999]) – English   [Mucuna pruriens var. utilis]
  • Lyon-bean   (Source: Leg WorldEc ) – English   [Mucuna pruriens var. utilis]
  • Mauritius velvet-bean   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – English   [Mucuna pruriens var. utilis]
  • velvet-bean   (Source: Herbs Commerce ed2 ) – English
  • velvet-bean   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English   [Mucuna pruriens var. utilis]
  • Yokohama velvet-bean   (Source: Leg WorldEc ) – English   [Mucuna pruriens var. utilis]
  • li dou   (Source: F ChinaEng ) – Transcribed Chinese   [Mucuna pruriens var. utilis]
  • pois pouilleux   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French   [Mucuna pruriens var. pruriens]
  • Juckbohne   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German   [Mucuna pruriens var. pruriens]
  • stizolobia   (Source: Mult Glossary Crops ) – Italian   [Mucuna pruriens var. utilis]
  • chiporro   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish   [Mucuna pruriens var. pruriens]
  • guisante negro   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish   [Mucuna pruriens var. utilis]
  • picapica   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish   [Mucuna pruriens var. pruriens]
  • kliböna   (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – Swedish

Economic importance:


Distributional range:

    Northeast Tropical Africa: Chad; Ethiopia; Somalia; Sudan
    East Tropical Africa: Kenya; Tanzania; Uganda
    West-Central Tropical Africa: Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Equatorial Guinea; Sao Tome and Principe; Zaire
    West Tropical Africa: Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Togo
    South Tropical Africa: Angola; Malawi; Zambia; Zimbabwe
    Southern Africa: South Africa - KwaZulu-Natal, Transvaal
    Western Indian Ocean: Madagascar
    Indian Subcontinent: Bangladesh; Bhutan; India; Nepal; Sri Lanka
    Indo-China: Cambodia; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam
    Malesia: Indonesia; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines

  • widely naturalized

  • widely cultivated


  • Adam, J.-G. 1971–. Flore descriptive des monts Nimba.
  • Adams, C. 1972. Flowering plants of Jamaica.
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman & M. Hjertson. 2009. Våra kulturväxters namn - ursprung och användning. Formas, Stockholm (Handbook on Swedish cultivated and utility plants, their names and origin).
  • Aubréville, A. et al., eds. 1960–. Flore du Cambodge du Laos et du Viet-Nam.
  • Duke, J. A. et al. 2002. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs.
  • Encke, F. et al. 1984. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage.
  • Faridah Hanum, I. & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds. 1997. Auxiliary plants. In: Faridah Hanum, I. & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds., Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA). 11:196–199.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource).
  • Grierson, A. J. C. & D. J. Long. 1984–. Flora of Bhutan including a record of plants from Sikkim.
  • Holm, L. et al. 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds.
  • Howard, R. 1974–1989. Flora of the lesser Antilles.
  • Huxley, A., ed. 1992. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening.
  • Jardim e Museu Agricola do Ultramar, Portugal. 1971–1973. Flora da Guine Portuguesa.
  • Keay, R. W. J. & F. N. Hepper. 1953–1972. Flora of west tropical Africa, ed. 2.
  • Lampe, K. F. & M. A. McCann. 1985. AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants.
  • Lock, J. M. 1989. Legumes of Africa: a checklist.
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker. 2000. Herbs of commerce, ed. 2.
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. 1970–. Flora of [West] Pakistan.
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  • Pulle, A. A. et al., eds. 1932–. Flora of Suriname.
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952–. Flora of tropical East Africa.
  • Verdcourt, B. 1979. A manual of New Guinea legumes.
  • Wilmot-Dear, C. M. 1984. A revision of Mucuna (Leguminosae-Phaseoleae) in China and Japan. Kew Bull. 39:61.
  • Woodson, R. E. & R. W. Schery, eds. 1943–1980. Flora of Panama. [= Stizolobium pruriens (L.) Medik.].


Check other web resources for Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC.:

  • SIBIS: South African National Biodiversity Institute's (SANBI) Integrated Biodiversity System
  • On-line Flora of Zimbabwe
  • ILDIS: International Legume Database and Information Service
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.

Images or nodulation data:

  • Check for additional images
  • Google Images Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (07 October 2015)

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