Aeschynomene indica (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Aeschynomene indica L.

Family: Leguminosae - Papilionoideae


Aeschynomene aspera auct., non L., A. diffusa Klein ex Willd., A. pumila L.

Vernacular names

  • Buddha pea (En)
  • Indonesia: peupeuteuyan (Sundanese), dinding, katisan (Javanese)
  • Cambodia: snaô ach mon (Kandal), snaô ba:y (Battambang)
  • Laos: sanô:
  • Thailand: sano-hin, sano-kangkhok
  • Vietnam: dâu ma (Hanoi), dièn dièn búng (An Giang).


Old World tropics, including South-East Asia; probably introduced into the Americas.


In India and Indonesia used as green manure mainly in rice fields but also in tea plantations. Its wood ("sola wood") has a specific gravity of 0.04 and is the lightest wood known; it is sometimes wrongly considered as pith; it is used for handicraft, but is inferior to that of A. aspera L. A. indica is moderately palatable as a forage, even after plants have died, but it has been suspected of being toxic. It occasionally causes weed problems e.g. in Australia and India.


Erect, branched, shrubby, annual herb, 0.5-2.5 m tall, glabrous. Stem hollow, at the base warty with stem nodules and coated with white aerenchyma. Leaves pinnate; stipules 6-7 mm long, extending below the leaf; rachis 5-7 cm long; leaflets 17-71, very close together, 3-15 mm × 1-4 mm, asymmetrical at base. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, 1-6-flowered, 2-5 cm long; calyx with shortly bifid upper lip, shortly trifid lower lip; standard 7-9 mm × 4-7 mm, yellow with purple streaks or patches. Pod stalked, 2.5-5 cm × 0.4 cm, 5-13-jointed. Seed reniform, 2-3 mm long, brownish. A. indica occurs mostly in wet sites, seasonally flooded or waterlogged grasslands, swamp margins, also on alkaline or saline heavy clay soils, up to 1000(-1600) m altitude. It forms aerial nodules on the stem with specialized Rhizobium spp. If its habitat is not waterlogged, the plant symbioses with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and nodulates with Rhizobium spp.

Selected sources

4, 8, 17, 48, 52, 53, 62, 92, 113.


M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen