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Published In: Nuovo Giornale dei Letterati 8: 113. 1824. (Nuovo Giorn. Lett.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A large genus with c. 150 species, throughout the tropics of both hemispheres.


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Climbing, prostrate or erect herbs or subshrubs, rarely small shrubs. Leaves pinnately trifoliolate; stipules bilobed or spurred at the base or not spurred, stipels generally present. Inflorescence axillary or terminal, falsely racemose or flowers in dense 1-many flowered subumbellate clusters; rachis usually thickened and glandular at the point of insertion of pedicels; bracts and bracteoles ± deciduous. Calyx 5-lobed, 2-lipped; upper lip of 2 lobes completely or partly united, lower lip 3-lobed. Vexillum with inflexed auricles and 2-4 appendages or rarely appendages absent; keel truncate, obtuse or beaked, sometimes the beak incurved through up to 360°. Stamens diadelphous 9+1, anthers uniform. Ovary 3-many ovuled; style with tenuous lower part obsolete or quite long, filiform or flattened, upper part thickened and cartilaginous, straight or curved, upper portion barbate or hirsute on inner side, sometimes produced beyond the stigma to form a short to long subulate or rarely flattened or capitate beak; stigma completely lateral, oblique or rarely ± terminal. Pod linear or linear oblong, cylindrical or flattened, straight or curved. Seeds mostly reniform or quadrate; aril obsolete to well developed, often 3-pronged.

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1 Leaflets definitely lobed (2)
+ Leaflets entire or only slightly lobed (3)
2 (1) Generally more than three lobes per leaflet Vigna aconitifolia
+ Three lobes per leaflet, central lobe oblong to spathulate Vigna trilobata
3 (1) Stipules not produced below the point of attachment (fruit covered with stiff dark drown hairs) Vigna vexillata
+ Stipules produced below the point of attachment (4)
4 (3) Fruit with black stiff hairs (5)
+ Fruit glabrous to subglabrous or minutely hairy (7)
5 (4) Pod c. 4-5 cm long; rim aril round the hilum of the seed distinctly raised; colour of the seed dirty green. Vigna mungo
+ Pod c. 4-9 cm long; rim aril round the hilum of the seeds less raised; colour of the seeds light green (6)
6 (5) Stem mostly erect, leaflets usually entire, fruit and seed usually longer Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilczek var. radiata
+ Stem twining or prostrate, leaflets frequently lobed, fruit and seed usually smaller Vigna radiata var. sublobata
7 (4) Fruit 10 cm or more long (8)
+ Fruit less than 10 cm long (10)
8 (7) Fruit 30-90 cm long; mostly twining Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis
+ Fruit shorter (9)
9 (8) Fruit 7.5-13 cm long; frequently suberect, rarely twining Vigna unguiculata subsp. cylindrica
+ Fruit 20-30 cm long; twining or sometime erect Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. subsp. unguiculata
10 (7) Stipules 4 mm or less long; flower c. 5-6 mm long Vigna dalzelliana
+ Stipules 5 mm or more long; flower 9-12 mm long Vigna umbellata
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