Vigna unguiculata cylindrica
Dolichos catjang Burm.f.
Phaseolus cylindricus L.
Vigna catjang (Burm.f.) Walp.
Vigna cylindrica (L.) Skeels.
Common Name: Catjang
Vigna unguiculata cylindrica is an annual plant, varying in habit from erect and bushy to prostrate and scrambling. It produces stems from 15 - 80cm long[
The plant is often cultivated for its edible seed in warm temperate and tropical zones. An abundant cropper, it can produce a crop all year round in the Tropics, especially if new sowings are made every few months[
A cultivated form, notknown in the wild.
Not known in the wild
A plant of the tropics and subtropics, and cultivated in the warmer regions of the temperate zone, it is found at elevations up to 2,000metres in the tropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 25 - 35°c, but can tolerate 15 - 40°c[
]. It can be killed by temperatures of -1°c or lower[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 1,500mm, but tolerates 300 - 4,100mm[
Succeeds in full sun and in light shade[
]. Plants can grow in a wide range of moist but well drained soils[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7.5, tolerating 4 - 8.8[
]. Established plant are moderately drought tolerant[
Plants have given reasonable yields for the past 3 years on our trial grounds in Cornwall (1993)[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.
Young seedpods - cooked[
]. Tender and delicious[
]. They are picked whilst the seeds are very immature and then cooked like French beans[
]. The pods are harvested when 30 - 60cm long, they are usually borne in pairs and are stringless[
Seed - cooked[
]. Used in soups[
]. Rich in protein.
Leaves and young stems - cooked[
]. A mild flavour, though they give off a strong aroma when cooking[
The seed is diuretic[
]. It is used to strengthen the stomach[
]. When boiled and eaten as a food it is considered to destroy worms in the stomach[
The crushed leaves are used in a poultice to heal and bond broken bones[
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow in trays in early to mid spring in a greenhouse. Germination should take place within 10 days. Grow the plants on fast and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them the protection of a cloche for their first few weeks outdoors to ensure that they do not suffer a check to their growth.
An outdoor sowing in situ in late spring may succeed in a warm summer, though it is much more likely to be a disappointment in temperate regions.