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close-up of seeds (Photo: Tracey Slotta at USDA PLANTS Database)
Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. var. utilis (Wall. ex Wight) Baker ex Burck
Dolichos pruriens L.Mucuna utilis Wall. ex WightStizolobium pruriens (L.) Medik.
Fabaceae (Queensland, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory)Fabaceae: sub-family Faboideae (New South Wales)Leguminosae (South Australia)Papilionaceae (Western Australia)
Bengal bean, Bengal velvet bean, cow itch, cowage velvet bean, cow-itch, cowitch, Florida velvet bean, horse eye bean, lacuna bean, Lyon bean, Mauritius velvet bean, mucuna, pica-pica, velvet bean, velvetbean, Yokohama velvet bean
This species has a very widespread distribution throughout the tropical regions of the world (i.e. it is pan-tropical). It is thought to have originated in India and south-eastern Asia, but its exact native distribution is obscure and it is sometimes also regarded as being native to tropical America.
Widely naturalised, but scattered, in northern and eastern Australia (i.e. in northern and eastern Queensland and the northern parts of the Northern Territory). Also present on Christmas Island, but it is possibly native to this area.
Cow itch (Mucuna pruriens var. utilis) is regarded as a potentially serious environmental weed in northern Australia. It is on the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) list and is also seen as a "sleeper weed" in some parts of northern Australia.
Fact sheets are available from Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) service centres and our Customer Service Centre (telephone 13 25 23). Check our website at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au to ensure you have the latest version of this fact sheet. The control methods referred to in this fact sheet should be used in accordance with the restrictions (federal and state legislation, and local government laws) directly or indirectly related to each control method. These restrictions may prevent the use of one or more of the methods referred to, depending on individual circumstances. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, DEEDI does not invite reliance upon it, nor accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by actions based on it.
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