return to: checklist; keys, key 4; family Fabaceae sensu lato, subfamily Papilionoideae

Stizolobium pruriens (L.) Medic (syn: Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC.); pica-pica

Herbaceous liana; leaves alternate, trifoliolate; inflorescence a raceme; flowers purple; legume fruits a hairy-bristly pod (CAUTION: IRRITANT HAIRS!)

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The hairs on mature fruits detach very easily and readily penetrate the skin. They can be extremely irritating. Remarkably, Standley (1930) reports that these irritant hairs have been mixed with beverages as a means to control intestinal parasites in children.