Dolichos (old Greek name). Leguminosa.
Differs from Phaseolus in technical characters: keel of the corolla narrow and bent inwards at a right angle, but not distinctly coiled; style bearded under the stigma, which is terminal; stipules small. Tropical twining beans of perhaps 40-50 species, of which a few forms are in cultivation in this country. D. Japonicus, a most worthy ornamental vine, will be found under Pueraria. For the Velvet or Banana Bean, D. multiflorus, see Mucuna. For D. unguiculatus, see Vigna.
Lablab, Hyacinth bean. Tall-twining (often reaching 10-20 feet). Leaflets broad-ovate, rounded below and cuspidate-pointed at the apex, often crinkled. Flowers purple, rather large, 2-4 at the nodes, in a long, erect raceme: pods small (2-3 inches long) and flat, usually smooth, conspicuously tipped with the persistent style; seed black, small. Tropics. Cultivated in this country as an ornamental climbing bean, but in the tropics the seeds are eaten. Annual. It is easily grown in any good garden soil. Like common beans, it will not endure frost. It is very variable. A form with white flowers. and seeds is D. Albus. A form of very large growth, also white-flowered, is D. gigantéus. A perennial form (perhaps a distinct species) is D. lignosus, the Australian Pea.
Sesquipedalis, Asparagus Bean. Long rambling or twining annual plant, with deltoid ovate or deltoid-oblong
blunt-pointed leaflets Flowers rather large, 1-3 inches. The axils, the peduncles elongating and bearing the pods at their summits. Pods compressed or nearly terete, slender
and very long (often 2 feet) and sometimes curiously
twisted. Seeds small, oblong, more or less truncate or squared at the ends, usually reddish or dim-colored. South America. Cultivated as a vegetable garden esculent, the green pods and dry beans being eaten. As easily grown as other beans.