A vine with climbing stems
and leaves, to a height of 3-4 meter. Leaves are pinnate or palmate
to trifoliate. Bean pod is about 6 to 8 inches long, four-angled. Flowers
are large and pale to bright blue.
Whole plant is edible,
the beans used as vegetable; but the other parts –leaves, flowers
and roots–are also edible. Flowers used as rice and pastry colorant.
Young leaves can be pickled or prepared as vegetable, like spinach.
Good source of vitamins A and C, calcium and iron.
No known folkloric use
in the Philippines.
Results of study of extract of PT pods showed activity against B. subtilis
and B. cereus, P mirabilis, E coli, S typhi, K pneumoia and C albicans
and suggested a potential source for antimicrobial compounds. (2)
Methanol extract of Psophocarpus tetragonologus leaves exhibited
bactericidal effect on Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
• Fungicidal: Study of methanol
extract of PT root showed no toxicity and a favorable antimicrobial
activity against Candida albicans.
• Aluminum Content of Edible Portion: Study was done to evaluate the accumulation of aluminum in the edible parts of the plant: leaves, pods, seeds and tubers. Results showed all edible portions of the plant accumulate aluminum from high to very high levels compared to an average of less than 300 ppm in other crop plants; the accumulation was highest in the youngest tissues, especially the roots, recording as high as 25,000 ppm.