Description: The goa bean is a climbing plant that may cover small shrubs and trees. Its bean pods are 22 centimeters (9 inches) long, its leaves 15 centimeters (6 inches) long, and its flowers are bright blue. The mature pods are 4-angled, with jagged wings on the pods.
Habitat and Distribution: This plant grows in tropical Africa, Asia, the East Indies, the Philippines, and Taiwan. This member of the bean (legume) family serves to illustrate a kind of edible bean common in the tropics of the Old World. Wild edible beans of this sort are most frequently found in clearings and around abandoned garden sites. They are more rare in forested areas.
Edible Parts: You can eat the young pods like string beans. The mature seeds are a valuable source of protein after parching or roasting them over hot coals. You can germinate the seeds (as you can many kinds of beans) in damp moss and eat the resultant sprouts. The thickened roots are edible raw. They are slightly sweet, with the firmness of an apple. You can also eat the young leaves as a vegetable, raw or steamed.
All text and images from the U.S. Army Field Manual 3-05.70: Survival.
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