Plant of the Month — May 2019
Vincetoxicum lineare (Decne.) Meve & Liede — Bush Bean
Vincetoxicum lineare (Bush Bean) is a slender, perennial climber or trailer growing to c. 2 m long. The flowers, featuring deeply incised corolla lobes, with the margins often ciliate, appear between April and January and are initially a delicate greenish-yellow colour, but eventually turn purple-brown. The inflorescence is axillary with umbels of 3–7 flowers, and after flowering, green, bean-like pods up to 20 cm long are produced.
Bush Bean grows in arid, open woodland throughout the drier regions of mainland Australia and has been an important food source for Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years. The Bush Bean is not a particularly nutritious food source but was useful in preventing scurvy. The whole of the plant is edible, although the woody stems are generally not eaten.
Photo: K. Thiele
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