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Bambara groundnut [Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdcourt ]


The situation in Japan and information from the NIAS genebank
Bambara groundnut has neither been grown nor used in Japan. A few amount of this pulse is imported from Africa (Hoshikawa 1981).
Bambara groundnut is believed to have been domesticated in West Africa from its presumed wild ancestor, Vigna subterranea var. spontanea (Herms) Hepper (Smartt, 1990).
Bambara groundnut was formerly classified as Voandzeia subterranea.
Marechal et al. (1978) clearly demonstrated that the bambara groundnut belongs to the Section Vigna in the genus Vigna. 2n=22.
Bambara groundnut is geocarpic. The inflorescens are near the soil surface, but after pollination and fertilization, the developing pods are buried under the soil surface. The leaves are trifoliate with relatively long petioles. Flower is yellow. This legume seems to be well adapted to the African sub-Saharan zone (Smartt, 1990).
The dry seeds are soaked in the water, then eaten after boiled or fried. The immature pods are cooked directly.
Hoshikawa,K. 1981. Bambara mame (Bambara groundnut). in "Shokuyou Sakumotu" (Food Crops). Yoken-do, Tokyo. (in Japanese) pp.543-544.
Marechal,R., J.M.Mascherpa and F.Stainer. 1978. Etude taxonomique d'un groupe complexe d'speces des genres Phaseolus et Vigna (Papilionaceae) sur la base de donnees morphologiques et polliniques, traitees par l'analyse informatique. Boissiera 28 : 177-178.
Smartt,J. 1990. Grain Legumes. Cambridge University Press. pp.160-165.