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Lablab purpureus is a species of bean in the family Fabaceae. it is cultivated throughout the tropics for food. English language common names include hyacinth bean, lablab-bean, dolichos bean, seim bean, Egyptian kidney bean, Indian bean, bataw and Australian pea. It is the only species in the monotypic genus Lablab.
Lablab is a dual-purpose legume. It is traditionally grown as a pulse crop for human consumption in south and southeast Asia and eastern Africa. Flowers and immature pods also used as a vegetable. It is also used as a fodder legume sown for grazing and conservation in broad-acre agricultural systems in tropical environments with a summer rainfall. Also used as green manure, cover crop and in cut-and-carry systems and as a concentrate feed. It can be incorporated into cereal cropping systems as a legume ley to address soil fertility decline and is used as an intercrop species with maize to provide better legume/stover feed quality. As a dual purpose (human food and animal feed) legume , it is sown as a monoculture or in intercrop systems.
Three harvests possible from annual types, but will not stand heavy grazing of stems. For green manure, the crop should be cut before flower initiation. More tolerant of grazing than cowpea, and more harvests possible. As a forage , the crop should be utilised before flowering.