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Pueraria phaseoloides (Roxb.) Benth.

Pueraria phaseoloides (Roxb.) Benth.




Dolichos phaseoloides Roxb.

Vernacular Names


Kacang hijau hutan, tampong urat.

English (Australia)

Tropical kudzu, puero.


Kacang ruji, krandang (Javanese), fuo banga (Ternate).


Singkamasaso (Taga­log), bahay (Bikol), vaay (Ivatan).


Pe ying pin.


Pied, s'üak pièd.


Thua-sianpa (central).


D[aa]u ma, d[aa]u dai, d[aa]u r[uf]ng.


Kudzu tropical, puero.

Geographical Distributions

Pueraria phaseoloides is indigenous to the lowlands of East and Southeast Asia where it occurs on river banks and roadsides, fallow fields and young secondary forests. It has been introduced into other tropical regions and is now cultivated and naturalised throughout the wet tropics.


Pueraria phaseoloides is a deep-rooting perennial herb with climbing or twining and hairy stems. The roots are subtuber­ous. The main stems are about 6 mm in diametre and can be extend­ed to 4.5-10 m long. It roots at the nodes if in contact with moist soil. The lateral stems branch from the nodes.

The young shoots are densely covered with brown hairs. The large leaves are with three leaflets. The stipules are triangular to ovate, measuring 4-11 mm x 2-3 mm and pubescent. The hairy petiole is 3-11 cm long. The stipels are 3-7 mm long and lance-shaped to setaceous. The petiolule is 2-5 mm long. The top leaflet is sym­metrical, triangular or ovate, measuring 2-20 cm x 2-16 cm, thin, with broadly wedge-shaped or subrhomboidal base and very shallowly lobed and acuminate at apex. The lateral leaflets are oblique, and measuring (4-)6-7(-14) cm x (3-)6-7(-12) cm. They are thinly hairy on the upper surface, and greyish-green and densely pubescent on the lower surface.

The inflores­cence is an axillary, unbranched raceme, measures 10-46 cm long and pubescent. The peduncle is about 13 cm long. The bracts are 2-5 mm long and pubescent. The flowers are 10-23 mm long, mauve to deep purple and borne in pairs. The bracteoles are 1-3 mm long and lance-shaped while the pedicel is 2-6 mm long. The sepal is bell-shaped, 6 mm long, hairy, broad at the upper teeth and triangular lateral ones. The upper part of petal is or­bicular, 1-2.5 cm in diametre and spurred. It is greenish on outside and white on the inner side with a mauve violet central blotch. There are 10 diadelphous stamens.

The fruit is a straight or slightly curved, cylindrical or compressed cylindrical pod, measuring 4-12.5 cm x 3-5 mm, thinly clothed with stiff appressed hairs and black when mature. It is 10-20-seeded. The seed is cylindrical to cubic with rounded corners, measuring about 3 mm x 2 mm, and brown to brownish-black.

Ecology / Cultivation

Pueraria phaseoloides is best suited to the hu­mid lowland tropics up to 1000 m altitude with an annual rainfall in excess of 1500 mm. In an exper­iment under controlled conditions, an optimum temperature of 32/24°C (day/night) was found and dry matter yields were reduced by 35% with a change in temperature regime to 26/15°C. Few re­ports are available on photoperiod responses. In Puerto Rico (latitude 15ºN), flowering and seed set occur in the short day length period from Janu­ary to March, suggesting that it may be a short ­day plant. In Papua New Guinea and Africa, it on­ly sets seed under dry conditions. In comparison with other legume species, P. phaseoloides has been ranked highly as a shade-tolerant plant. When grown under 50% shade in coconut plantations in the Solomon Islands, it was the most productive legume and it even suppressed the accompanying grasses. This characteristic makes it suitable in integrated livestock/planta­tion production systems. Under a regime of more than 50% shade, P. phaseoloides is still compara­tively productive, but in mixtures it gives way to other species like centro (Centrosema pubescens) or desmodium (Desmodium heterocarpon (L.) DC. subsp. ovalifolium (Prain) Ohashi). P. phaseoloides is tolerant of very wet and water­logged sites. It prefers heavy soils and is well-adapted to acid soils. It is particularly susceptible to Mg and S deficiencies and has moderate to low Ca and P requirements, but it responds to fertilis­er application. On poor oxisols and ultisols, P. phaseoloides also requires K and Mg fertiliser. It is not tolerant of salinity.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.11: Auxiliary plants.

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