Mucuna gigantea, Fam. Fabaceae
Perennial vine often climbing high into trees.
|Form or habit:||Vine (Climbing, Twining or groundcover)|
Pinnately, trifoliate. Leaflets broadly ovate, 7-16 x 4-9cm.
|Flower description:||Large, axillary clusters of green yellow pea flowers. April to November.|
|Fruit description:||Thick, flattened, black when ripe pods, margins flanged and covered in irritant hairs at least when immature, 6-14 x 3.3-5cm. Seed orbicular, dark brown to black. Any month but mainly August to January.|
|Habitat:||Gallery (riverine or riparian) forest, mangroves, rainforest.|
|Distribution||Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Western Australia, New Guinea, Melanesia, Malesia, Pacific Islands.|
|Food source for:||It attracts nectar feeding mammals and birds.|
|Toxicity:||No toxicity known|
|Origin:||Australia, New Guinea, Melanesia, Malesia, Pacific Islands.|
|Notes:||Useful screen plant, tolerates a range of soil types. The seed float and are dispersed in water, and are sometimes seen in beach debris. Germinates readily if the seed coat is nicked and grows very vigorously but requires plenty of water. Seed were eaten by Aborigines after treatment, and are used in leis in Polynesia.|
|Information sources:||Melzer R. & Plumb J. (2007) Plants of Capricornia.|