A Sea-Bean Guide

Brown Hamburger Bean
Mucuna sloanei

Also called: Horse Eye, Ojo de Buey, True Sea-Bean, Yeux Bourrique, Z'yeux-Bourrique
Original Description: Fawcett, W. & Rendle, A. B. (1917). Notes on Jamaica Plants. J. Bot. 55: 35 – 38.


mature leaves


seed pods of Mucuna sloanei
pod closeup
seeds of Mucuna sloanei
seeds of Mucuna sloanei
seed closeup

New Leaves, 8/8/04
(longest = 15mm)

Young Leaves, topside, 8/8/04
(longest = 31mm)

Young Leaves, underside, 8/8/04
(longest = 31mm)

Tip of stem.

Young flower clusters.

Mature Flower Cluster
Some are hidden, but there were 7 flowers to this cluster.

Mature Flower Cluster
Clusters may have up to 18 flowers per cluster.

Individual Flower

Ants cover the flowers...   perhaps the flowers are ant-pollinated?
Anyone know what species of Florida (USA) ant this is?   ...click right image for closer view.
Mucuna gigantea also attracts ants; see photo ©by Forest Starr & Kim Starr at www.HEAR.org

Pistil and Anthers on a new, maturing flower.
The pistil was first to be exposed, then the anthers were exposed a few days later.
(click pictures above, for larger view)

Opened Flower showing pistil, stamens, and pollen

A flower that has both male and female parts is referred to as a "perfect" flower.
Note the single, longer female pistil (showing the stalk or style and the pollen-receptive tip, the stigma).
There are multiple, shorter male stamens (showing their filaments and pollen-producing tips, the anthers).

Remove the stamens to expose the full length of the stalk of the female pistil
and you'll see the ovary at its base.

Mucuna sloanei seed pod

seed pod of Mucuna sloanei
A cluster of these pods hang vertically, one pod for each pollinated flower in the flower cluster.

seed pod of Mucuna sloanei
Opened pod, showing two internal "Hamburger Bean" seeds.

seed pod of Mucuna sloanei
Two seeds fully exposed.
Pods have 1 to 3 seeds, but typically have 2 seeds per pod.

seed pod of Mucuna sloanei
Close up of seeds, showing plant tissue that wraps around the seed,
creating and covering the hilum.

Seed / Flower / Pod comparison of Mucuna sloanei vs. Mucuna sp. #001 - from the Amazon
Seed / Flower / Pod comparison of Mucuna sloanei vs. Mucuna sp. #002 - from Costa Rica

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