Catjang bean

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Catjang bean
Vigna unguiculata ssp.  cylindrica.JPG

Catjang bean ( Vigna unguiculata subsp. cylindrica )

Order : Fabales (Fabales)
Family : Legumes (Fabaceae)
Subfamily : Butterflies (Faboideae)
Genre : Vigna
Type : Vigna unguiculata
Subspecies : Catjang bean
Scientific name
Vigna unguiculata subsp. cylindrica
( L. ) Verdc.

The Catjang bean ( Vigna unguiculata subsp. Cylindrica ), also known as Katjang bean or Angola bean , is a useful plant from the subfamily of the butterflies (Faboideae). It is closely related to the cow bean and the asparagus bean . Taxonomically it is listed either as a subspecies cylindrica or catjang or as a cultivar group 'Biflora' of Vigna unguiculata .


It is very similar to the nominate form of the species, the cowpea . It grows shrubby up to 80 cm high or creeping and twisting 30 cm high. The three-fused leaves are on long stalks. The terminal leaflets are 6 to 16 cm long. The flower clusters stand upright and carry 4 to 12 flowers in pairs . The flower color is variable and ranges from white to purple and light blue. The young pods are initially upright, later they can lower themselves into a horizontal position. They are 7 to 13 cm long with a diameter of 5 to 7 mm, cylindrical and straight to slightly curved. As they ripen, they change color from green to yellow to brown.

The seeds are 5 to 6, rarely up to 12 mm long, 3 to 8 mm wide and 4 to 6 mm thick. The color is usually dark, often red, black-brown to black or dotted with black. They often have a triangular, white navel. Its ingredients are very similar to those of the cowpea .

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 22.


The Catjang bean originally comes from Africa, but came to Asia very early. This is where it is grown today, where it is used as a dry bean and vegetable. Statistics are missing.

It is mainly grown in the lowlands of the tropics and subtropics , in the tropics it thrives at altitudes of 2000 meters. The precipitation is said to be between 700 and 1700 mm, with the cultivation being carried out in such a way that the harvest takes place after the rainy season . Excessive rainfall leads to high leaf mass and low seed formation. The temperature should be between 12 and 28 ° C, the soil pH between 5 and 7.5. The plants also thrive on light soils , medium and heavy soils lead to higher yields. The yields are usually less than one tonne of seeds per hectare.


Dark seeds are often used as animal feed, the light ones are more likely to be eaten by humans. They are said to be easier to digest. Leaves and young pods are eaten as a vegetable or salad. The whole plants are also used as green fodder and then provide 20 to 40 tons of green matter per hectare.


Individual evidence

  1. Vigna unguiculata subsp. cylindrica at In: IPCN Chromosome Reports . Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis