A Sea-Bean Guide: Velvet Bean, Burney Bean (Mucuna gigantea)
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A Sea-Bean Guide

Burney Bean, Velvet Bean
Mucuna gigantea

Mucuna gigantea is a Pacific sea-bean, commonly found on some shores of Australia, Japan, Hawaii and other Pacific locations. The seeds come in a variety of colors and color patterns, with the majority (all?) of the Australian beans being entirely black. These forms can also be found in Hawaii, but more frequently found are color forms that are mottled with black and brown. Less commonly found in Hawaii are seeds that are entirely brown in color.


Mucuna gigantea color variations, showing its side, top, and hilum.


Mucuna gigantea seeds from Australia
Mucuna gigantea
Mucuna gigantea
   Mucuna gigantea
Close-up of Mucuna gigantea
Photos:   Nan Rhodes


Mucuna gigantea seeds from Hawaii
Mucuna gigantea
Color variations, of black, brown, and mottled forms.
Mucuna gigantea
Both black and mottled seed forms in the same pod.
Color variations can, perhaps, be thought of as having all of the lighter color (the browns),
or all of the darker color (black), or a mix of the two (mottled).



The white flowers of Mucuna gigantea are formed in a large, hanging cluster.
Flowers from Nahiku, Maui, Hawaii.   Note the ants, obviously attracted to the flowers!
Photo: Forest & Kim Starr, from here




The seed pods of Mucuna gigantea are essentially without sculptural elements, except for at the margins of the pods.
Photo:   Izumi Hanno Godfrey; Iriomote Island, Japan. (photo extracted from Izumi's "Travels with Mr. Seabean")



Links
Links from "Travels with Mr. Seabean"
  • "Two kinds of Mucuna in Iriomote" - Japan
  • Mucuna gigantea young plant


  • Other links
  • Sea-beans from Australia
  • Flower image by G.K. Linney


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