Lablab

Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet

Synonyms - Dolichos lablab

Order: Fabales

Family: Fabaceae

Names:

Lablab
Purpureus
Lablab bean.

Summary:

A summer growing annual or perennial legume with long twining stems and purple or white pea type flowers.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

Leaves:

Alternate. Tendrils.
Stipules -
Petiole -
Blade - 3 leaflets. 75-150 mm long.

Stems:

Running vine. Branched. Twining and climbing.

Flowers:

Purple or white. Pea type. 12-25 mm long.
Ovary -
Calyx -
Petals -
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

Flattened pod.

Seeds:

Cultivar Highworth has 4000-6000 seeds/kg and Rongai has 3600-4300 seeds/kg.

Roots:

Taproot.

Key Characters:

Flattened pod.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Annual, biennial or short lived perennial. Seed is sown from October to January. Summer growing. Running herb. Tends to act as an annual when grazed.

Physiology:

Sensitive to frost.
Sensitive to waterlogging.
Drought tolerant.
Resistant to Phytophthora root and stem rot and Bean Fly.

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

Spring.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

None.

Hybrids:

Several cultivars exist including the mid season Highworth and late season Rongai.

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed.

Habitats:

Climate:

Warm temperate.
Annual rainfall of 500-1500 mm.

Soil:

Grows well on acid soils of low fertility and also very responsive to fertiliser.

Plant Associations:

Brigalow, Coastal tropical plants.
Often grown with Sorghum, Millet or Maize.

Origin and History:

Tropical areas. East Africa.

Distribution:

NSW, SA, NT, QLD, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Significance:

Beneficial:

Cultivated crop. Fodder. Good producer of late autumn feed.

Detrimental:

Weed of other crops and wastelands.

Toxicity:

Occasionally causes bloat.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Requires rotational grazing to maintain it as a pasture.
Requires a specific rhizobia inoculant.

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Continually graze and prevent seed set.

Herbicide resistance:

None reported.

Related plants:

None in the same species in Australia.

Plants of similar appearance:

Beans, Peas, Vetches.

References:

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #711.1.

McBarron, E.J. (1983). Poisonous plants. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P139.

Reid, R.L. (1990) The Manual of Australian Agriculture. (Butterworths, Sydney). P259.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.