Vigna vexillata

Botanical name: Vigna vexillata (L.) A. Rich.
Local name: Kattupayar
Habitat: Moist deciduous forests
Flowering & fruiting: January to April
Distribution:  Paleotropics

Description: the wild pea is a slender climber but fairly strong twiner, stems usually clothed with spreading silky hairs. The long trailing vines have narrow pointed bean-like leaves. The flowers are pink or purplish or yellow with 2.5 cm long. Flowers solitary or 2-3 together; calyx 9 mm long, strigose hairy and lobes lanceolate.

Significance: The whole plant is used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is effective for joint disorders, arthritis, swellings in joints. As a hemostatic it checks hemorrhaging thus prolongs life in individuals suffering from internal bleeding while building their strength with its nutritive action. The tubers are soft, easy to peel and possess a creamy, white, tasty interior. They are eaten boiled or raw. Protein content of the tubers is nearly 15%, which is higher compared to 1-7% of potatoes and yams.