Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Dicotyledon Literature for Macroptilium lathyroides
Wagner et al., 1990, 1999; Lorence & Wagner, 2020.
   Fabaceae -- The Pea Family Bibliography
      Macroptilium lathyroides

Common name(s): cow pea, wild bean
General Information
DistributionNative to the Neotropics, naturalized elsewhere.In the Hawaiian Islands, naturalized on Ni`ihau, Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Kaho`olawe, Hawai`i.

Erect, annual or biennial herb, 0.6‒2 m tall, sometimes trailing or twining; stems appressed pubescent.
Leaves petiolate; leaflets narrowly elliptic to narrowly ovate, 3‒8 cm long, 1‒3.5 cm wide, abaxial surface sparsely pilose at maturity; petiole 1‒5 cm long; stipules lanceolate, 5‒6 mm long.
Inflorescences a pseudoraceme to 50 cm long. Flowers subsessile, ca. 15 mm long; calyx sericeous, tube 3.5‒5 mm long, lobes narrowly triangular, 1‒1.5 mm long; standard maroon to purple, wing and keel petals tinged green, red, or white.
Fruit 5.5‒10 cm long, 2.5‒3.5 mm wide, appressed pilose, valves becoming strongly twisted.
Seeds 18‒30, brown or marbled brown and black, obliquely oblong, 3‒3.5 mm long, 2‒3 mm wide, shallowly pitted.
2n = 22.
Nancy Khan