from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A twining vine (Dolichos lablab) of the Old World tropics, having purple or white flowers and edible pods and seeds. Also called lablab.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a climbing leguminous plant (Dolichos Lablab), related to the true bean. It has dark purple flowers and fruit.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. perennial twining vine of Old World tropics having trifoliate leaves and racemes of fragrant purple pea-like flowers followed by maroon pods of edible seeds; grown as an ornamental and as a vegetable on the Indian subcontinent; sometimes placed in genus Dolichos


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  • All parts of this bean are edible, down to the roots. Dried seeds contain cyanide, and must be extensively boiled to make them consumable.

    The plant is a good ornamental producing sweet-smelling flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. When trellised, it produces a thick, fast-growing screen.

    August 27, 2009