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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis)

Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis), is the geographical origin and spread of South America and Central America. However, has been widely planted in the southern United States since prehistoric times, and have been found at archaeological sites in Mexico dated 3000 years BC. Now this bean has been commonly grown throughout the tropics.

The legume seeds produce a kind of bean that can be used as a source of vegetable protein can be processed in various types of processed foods, although presently, cultivation is not so intensive.

Characteristic of the tree:

Jack bean can adapt well in the humid tropics, but also can survive in periods of drought. These beans can be grown in areas with an annual rainfall ranges from 700-4000 mm. Although Jack bean is a low-lying plant but can also be grown at altitudes up to 1800 m., Best growth in full sunlight but have moderate shade tolerance. These beans tolerant to a variety of soil conditions including acid and covers a land area of arid tropics but are less affected by lack of water or salt content compared with other nuts.

Liana short-lived annual with a deep root system, or creeping shrub with twisted lengths of up to 2-3 m. Accordance with age, stems become woody. Branching growth on the lowest book and some secondary branches also grow.

Leaves alternate, consisting of 3 strands, 11-17 cm long petiole; leaves oblong-shaped round eggs, measuring 5-20 cm x 3-12 cm, tapered or rounded and taper at the top, rarely covered with short hairs on both surfaces , the veins appear and spy nets.

Mauve colored flower to purple, or sometimes white, came out with bunches in the armpit with a swell book which underpins 1-3 flowers on long flower stalks with 2-5 mm. Stems 10-35 cm long bunches, bunches up to 20 cm long, oblong pods, measuring 15-35 cm x 3-3.5 cm, containing 8-20 seeds, each valve with rib hem and there is an extra rib underneath. Seeds elliptical, measuring approximately 21 mm x 15 mm x 10 mm, ivory or white, with long brown hilum 6-9 mm.

Benefits of Jack Bean:

These beans are traditionally used as animal feed, the tree is widely planted as a cover crop, or planted for green manure in rotation with other crops. For fodder, the beans are usually dried before it is given as a livestock feed and can also be stored for inventory. Ripened seeds, then ground and used as a solid food at the farm. Half- ripe seeds are mixed with grain used to feed livestock in Hawaii.

Young seeds and pods are used as a vegetable for human food. 

Mature seeds with boiled or baked foods commonly eaten as tasty in Indonesia, but excluding Japan and tropical Asia, this species are now grown as crops for human food, although the numbers are still small. Seeds are usually burned and ground as coffee mixture. In Indonesia, flowers and young leaves steamed and used as flavorings. Urease is distilled from the seeds is used in the analysis in the laboratory. In Indonesia and China, beans and peas are heated and used as a medicine has been alleged that some of the basic content of the beans may be used for treatment purposes or for pest control.

The common Jack bean is also a source of the lectin concanavalin A, which is used as a reagent in glycoprotein biochemistry and immunology.

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae (plants).
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (vascular plants).
  • Superdivisio: Spermatophyta (plants that produce seeds).
  • Division: Magnoliophyta (plants with flowers).
  • Class: Magnoliopsida (dashed two plants / dicots).
  • Sub-class: Rosidae.
  • Order: Fabales.
  • Familia: Fabaceae (legumes tribe).
  • Genus: Canavalia.
  • Species:  Canavalia ensiformis