from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A twining vine (Lablab purpureus) in the pea family native to tropical Africa and Asia, grown for forage and for its pods and seeds, which are edible after boiling.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun perennial twining vine of Old World tropics having trifoliate leaves and racemes of fragrant purple pea-like flowers followed by maroon pods of edible seeds; grown as an ornamental and as a vegetable on the Indian subcontinent; sometimes placed in genus Dolichos


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  • All parts of this bean are edible, down to the roots. Dried seeds contain cyanide, and must be extensively boiled to make them consumable.

    The plant is a good ornamental producing sweet-smelling flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. When trellised, it produces a thick, fast-growing screen.

    August 27, 2009