Key available at:
Canavalia cathartica Thouars






images and identification by Dinesh Valke








Images by Balkar Singh (Inserted by J.M.Garg)











Canavalia gladiata (Jacq.) DC.

















Canavalia species in India:

  1. Canavalia africana Dunn
  2. C. cathartica Thouars
  3. C. ensiformis (L.) DC.
  4. C. gladiata (Jacq.) DC.
  5. C. gladiolata J.D. Sauer [synonym of C. gladiata (Jacq.) DC.]
  6. C. maritima (Aubl.) Thouars [synonym of C. rosea (Sw.) DC.]
  7. C. mollis Wight. & Arn.
1. Sanjappa, M. 1992. Legumes of India. BSMP Dehradun. pp.107-108.
2. eFI page   


Binomial Habit Notes References Distribution

Climber Coast to Low
Flora of Tamil
Nadu, VOL. I, 1983; Sauer, 1964
All districts
Canavalia gladiata (Jacq.) DC. Shrub Plains
to  Low Altitude, Cultivated, Dry
Deciduous Forests
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. I, 1983
Canavalia maritima (Aubl.) Thouars = Canavalia rosea Twiner Coast
, Sandy areas
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. I, 1983
Kancheepuram, Kanniyakumari, Ramanathapuram, Thiruvallur, Thoothukkudi,
Tirunelveli, Viluppuram
Canavalia mollis Wight & Arn. Climber Western
Ghats & Eastern Ghats, Moist Deciduous Forests
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. I, 1983; Gamble, 1957
Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Namakkal, Nilgiri, Salem, Tirunelveli, Tiruvannamalai
Canavalia virosus (Roxb.) Wight & Arn. = Canavalia cathartica Twining
Ghats, Dry Deciduous Forests, along Streams



Botanical name Synonyms Family Common name

Canavalia ensiformis Fabaceae Horse Bean
Canavalia gladiata Dolichos gladiatus Fabaceae Sword Bean
Canavalia lineata Canavalia lineata, Canavalia maritima Fabaceae Beach Bean

Canavalia lineata (Thunberg ex Murray) Candolle (No distribution
given in India)
Vegetables edited by G. J. H. Grubben (2004)- Good details-
Canavalia ensiformis var. mollis (Wight & Arn.) Baker is a synonym of Canavalia mollis Wight & Arn.
Canavalia ensiformis var. turgida Baker is a synonym of Canavalia cathartica Thouars
Canavalia ensiformis var. virosa (Roxb.) Baker is a synonym of Canavalia cathartica Thouars
Canavalia obtusifolia (Lam.) DC. is a synonym of Canavalia rosea (Sw.) DC.

Medicinal Plants in Andhra Pradesh, India By T. Pullaiah (2002)- Details-
Flora of Davanagere District, Karnataka, India By B. K. Manjunatha, V. Krishna, T. Pullaiah (2004)- Details with keys
Antidiabetic Plants in India and Herbal Based Antidiabetic Research By T. Pullaiah, K. Chandrasekhar Naidu (2003)- Details-
An Excursion Flora of Central Tamilnadu, India By K. M. Matthew (1995)- Details with keys
Canavalia lineata DC. (not found in India as per FOC, GRIN, ILDIS, efi page etc.)
Flora of Medak District, Andhra Pradesh, India By T. Pullaiah, Chintala Prabhakar, B. Ravi Prasad Rao (1998)- Details-
Flora of Ranga Reddi District Andhra Pradesh, India By T. Pullaiah, M. Silar Mohammed (2000)- Details-
Gardening in India By George Marshall Woodrow, G Marshall (1999)- Details-
Canavalia stocksii Dalzell & A.Gibsonis a synonym of Canavalia cathartica

Canavalia maritima (Aubl.) Thouars = Canavalia rosea

Canavalia (Fabaceae) : 5 posts by 2 authors.  

I have updated eFI (efloraofindia) page on Canavalia (Pl. click).

Attempts have been made to incorporate most of the species available in India & nearby areas with details & keys directly or through links as far as possible. It’s quite possible that there may be some discrepancy in the accepted names & synonyms taken from other links.

Species discussed so far in efloraofindia are given at the bottom of the page in the form of links against Subpages. On clicking them one can see all the details.

If someone can provide complete list of Indian species with source references it will be wonderful.

Any comments/ corrections are welcome.

I have compiled and added list of Indian species.

Thanks, … I think Canavalia lineata DC. is not found in India as per FOC, GRIN, ILDIS, efi page etc.

Yes … This species does not occur in India in wild state but FRLHT has mentioned many local names of it indicating its significant presence (though in cultivation) in the area. Considering this I included this species also.

Thanks, … But I doubt it as otherwise it would have been mentioned (even if cultivated) in FOC, GRIN, ILDIS & other regional litratures mentioned at efi page .
However experts & other members may give their feedback & may pl. clarify.

There is a name called Canavalia lineata sensu auct. (syn. of Canavalia rosea (Sw.) DC.) with distribution in India as per ILDIS. It may have caused the confusion. 


Pl. go through Canavalia page with images of species (done by …) in efloraofindia.

If you find any mis-identification, pl. let us know.

If anybody can send images of other species of this genera (for incorporation in the website), if any, it will be really nice. Also, if anybody is interested to take up the activity of inserting images on efloraofindia pages from efloraofindia posts, pl. let me know.



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