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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/24/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 9/24/2013)
Species Canavalia ensiformis (L.) DC.
PlaceOfPublication Prodr. 2: 404. 1825.
Synonym Phaseolus maximus, siliqua ensiformis .... Sloane, Cat. P1. Jamaica 1: 68. 1696. LECTOTYPE (fide Sauer) Sloane, Cat. P1. Jamaica 1, tab. 114. figs. 1-3. Dolichos ensiformis L., Sp. P1. 2: 725. 1753. Based on Phaseolus maximus, siliqua ensiformis .... Sloane.
Description Vine, stems glabrescent. Leaves pinnate trifoliolate, leaflets' to 20 cm long, broadly ovate, apically obtuse with a blunt apiculum, glabrate. Inflorescence slender in flower, to 30 cm long; bracteoles obtuse, ca. 2 mm long; pedicels ca. 2 mm long. Flowers lavender; calyx tubular, ca. 14 mm long, sparingly pubescent, the upper lip about equalling the tube, emarginate, the lowest tooth slender, ca. 2.5 mm long, longer than the ovate lateral teeth; standard 2.75 cm long. Legume to 30 cm long, 3.5 cm thick, woody, oblong with a short apical beak and short basal stipe, explosively dehiscent, the valves glabrescent, each with a sutural rib and an additional rib ca. 5 mm from the sutural rib; seeds ca. 29 mm long, oblong, compressed, white or ivory, the hilum ca. 9 mm long, about 1/2 as long as the seed.
Habit Vine
Note Canavalia ensiformis may be distinguished by its white seeds, which are not buoyant. The lowest calyx tooth is longer and narrower than any other Pana- manian species except C. villosa. Canavalia ensiformis is also recognizable by its narrow calyx tube. This species is cultivated from time to time for soil binding or fodder, and the plants collected in Panama may have been cultivated. Sauer (1964) indicated that this species was domesticated by pre-Colombian Indians and that current records of the plant all come from cultivation. The plants were cultivated as an annual crop, although plants may live longer than one year. In South America, the seeds and shoots are eaten.
Specimen CANAL ZONE: Vine on trellis at barracks, Fort Clayton, Greenman & Greenman 5188 (MO).
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