Vigna subterranea


The genus Vigna is in the plant family Fabaceae. The genus is named after Dominico Vigna an Italian botanist of the 17th century. Many Vigna species are cultivated for food. They include some well-known and not so well known bean species formerly included in the genus Phaseolus. Common names in this genus reflect its mixed taxonomic history as some are referred to as peas and others as beans.

Many references even in current literature will place some of these species in genus Phaseolus. According to Hortus Third, however, Vigna differs from Phaseolus in that

  • plants in Vigna often have stipules that are appendaged
  • the thickened part of the style is less strongly
  • details of the pollen
  • details of the biochemistry

Examples of Vigna species cultivated for food include:

Other Vigna species include:

Bambara groundnut Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.

Vigna species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Turnip Moth.

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