16b. Mucuna pruriens var. utilis (Wallich ex Wight) Baker ex Burck, Ann. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg. 11: 187. 1893.
黧豆 li dou
Mucuna utilis Wallich ex Wight, Icon. Pl. Ind. Orient. 1: t. 280. 1840; Carpogon niveum Roxburgh; Macranthus cochinchinensis Loureiro; Mucuna atrocarpa F. P. Metcalf; M. capitata Wight & Arnott; M. cochinchinensis (Loureiro) A. Chevalier; M. deeringiana (Bort) Merrill; M. martini H. Léveillé & Vaniot; M. nivea (Roxburgh) Candolle; Stizolobium deeringianum Bort.
Stems with sparse long fine spreading hairs. Terminal leaflet with length:width ratio only ca. 1.5:1; lateral leaflets often markedly larger than terminal, to 20 cm. Inflorescence with sparse or dense soft adpressed hairs. Calyx with dense long pale hairs. Young legume green, linear but irregularly swollen around seeds, to 2 cm wide in parts, densely covered with silky hairs, with 1 or 2 prominent ribs. Seeds up to 8, white, light yellow-brown, or black, sometimes with streaks or spots; hilum yellowish white, ca. 7 mm. Fl. Oct, fr. Nov.
Cultivated. Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Sichuan, Taiwan [probably domesticated in India; cultivated in tropics and subtropics of Asia].
Mucuna pruriens var. utilis is a cultivated plant very similar to M. pruriens var. pruriens but distinctive in the misshapen silky-hairy legume entirely lacking irritant bristles and the lateral leaflets, which are often much larger than the terminal one.
This taxon is used for food, herbage, and green fertilizer.