Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet
Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet (1827)
The genus name Lablab is conserved against Dolichos, with Lablab purpureus as a type.
- Dolichos lablab L. (1753)
- D. purpureus L. (1763)
- Lablab niger Medik. (1787)
The species is very variable, and three groups are distinguished:
synonym: D. lablab subsp. lablab
Long axis of the seed perpendicular to the pod suture when mature. Seeds filling only one third to three-quarters of the pod breadth. Pod dehiscent or not.
Called papri or popetti in Hindi, such lablabs have short pods eaten for their seeds.
synonym: D. lablab subsp. ensiformis (Thunb.) Rivals (1953)
Long axis of the seed oblique with the pod suture when mature. Pod indehiscent.
Called sem or seim, such lablabs have fleshy pods used in curries.
synonym: D. lablab subsp. bengalensis (Jacq.) Rivals (1953)
Long axis of the seed parallel to the pod suture when mature. Pod indehiscent.
Called val or valor, such lablabs have straight long pods rectilignes, much like French beans.
Originating from East Africa, where the wild form, subsp. uncinatus Verdc. (1970), is to be found, the species has spread to India before our era, and is now cultivated in all East Asia and Oceania.