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Vigna radiata - (L.) R.Wilczek.

Common Name Mung Bean, Thai Mung Bean
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation[300 ]. Naturalized in open wastelands, roadsides, thicket margins, at elevations up to 500 metres in southern China[266 ].
Range E. Asia - China, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, New Guinea.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Vigna radiata Mung Bean, Thai Mung Bean

Vigna radiata Mung Bean, Thai Mung Bean


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Vigna radiata, or commonly known as Mung Bean, is an erect or semi-erect annual legume about 130 cm in height with a well-developed taproot. It is also known as moong bean, green gram, or mung. It is mainly cultivated as food crop in India, China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. The leaves are dark green and have three leaflets each. Flowers are pale yellow and small occurring in clusters of 10-20. The pods are black and straight. There are two main cultivars of V. radiata - golden gram, which has yellow seeds and the pods often shatter at maturity, and green gram, which has green seeds and the pods ripen more uniformly and are less likely to shatter. V. radiata has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria that form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Mature seeds are cooked or sprouted and used as an ingredient in a wide range of dishes. Young seedpods and leaves can also be cooked. In traditional medicine, the seeds are used in the treatment of paralysis, rheumatism, coughs, fevers, and liver ailments. Aside from the above-mentioned food and medicinal uses, the plant is also planted as a green manure or cover crop. Seed flour is rich in saponin contents and used as a substitute for soap. Plants are grown from seeds.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Vigna radiata is a ANNUAL growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid, very alkaline and saline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Azukia radiata (L.) Ohwi Phaseolus abyssinicus Savi Phaseolus aureus Roxb. Phaseolus aureus Wall. Ph

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Seed  Seedpod
Edible Uses:

Mature seed - cooked or sprouted[300 ]. The dried seeds are boiled and used in a wide range of ways[301 ]. For example, they can be eaten as a vegetable, added to soups and stews or they can be fermented into Indian dishes such as idli[300 , 301 ]. The seed is often also sprouted and either used in salads or cooked[300 , 301 ]. The seed is split in two, then fried and eaten as a snack[299 ]. The seed can also be ground into a powder and used in making dishes such as starch noodles, biscuits, bread etc[299 ]. The globose to ellipsoid or cube-like seeds are commonly green but can sometimes be a range of other colours. They are 25 - 40mm long and up to 3mm wide[299 ]. Young seedpods - cooked[300 ]. The pods are 6 - 10cm long and 4 - 6mm wide[300 ]. Leaves - cooked[298 , 300 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antirheumatic  Antitussive  Febrifuge

The seeds are said to be a traditional source of cures for paralysis, rheumatism, coughs, fevers and liver ailments[299 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Green manure  Soap making

Agroforestry Uses: The plant can be grown as a green manure or cover crop, enriching the soil with the nitrogen formed on its roots[299 , 418 ]. Other Uses The seed flour is rich in saponins and can be used as a soap substitute. It makes the skin smooth and soft[299 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A plant of the drier tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 21 - 36°c, but can tolerate 8 - 40°c[418 ]. The plant does not tolerate frost. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 650 - 900mm, but tolerates 500 - 1,250mm[418 ]. Plants do well when treated as a dry season crop[300 ]. Seed set can be adversely affected by rainfall during the flowering period[300 ]. Prefers a sunny position, tolerating light shade[418 ]. Grows best in a well-drained soil rich in organic matter, succeeding in sandy to clayey soils[300 , 418 ]. Some cultivars are tolerant of moderately saline and alkaline conditions[300 , 418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.2, tolerating 4.3 - 8.3[418 ]. Established plants are moderately drought resistant[300 ]. Young pods can be harvested in about 2 months from sowing the seed[300 ]. A yield of dried seeds can be obtained within 50 - 120 days[299 ]. Yields of 400 - 700 kilos of dried seed per hectare can be obtained[300 ]. There are many named varieties[301 ]. Two main sets of cultivars have been identified:- Golden gram has yellow seeds, the pods often shatter at maturity. Green gram has dark or light green seeds, the pods ripen more uniformly and are less likely to shatter[300 ]. Cultivars can be short-day, long-day or daylength-neutral[300 ]. The plant has deeply penetrating, vigorous roots[300 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200 ]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen. Spacing: 12-15 in. (30-38 cm).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in situ. Germination takes place at temperatures above 12?c, with 25?c being the optimum, when the seed can sprout within 3 - 7 days. The seed will germinate even in a fairly dry soil[299 , 300 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Bechin, Borao, Cherupayaru, Dau xanh, Hesaru, Imposo, Kakhoma, Look dow, Mag, Mbweso, Ming bean, Moog, Mphodza, Mposo, Mudga, Mug, Mung, Namurovo, Pasi-payaru, Passara, Patchapesalu, Putcha-payaru, Sbaiha, Uthulu, ambérique, cherupayar, fagiolo mungo, frijol mungo, golden gram, green gram, haricot doré, haricot mungo, hesara, hesoruballi, jaimuga, judía mung, lu dou, lu dou pi, mag, masaparni, masha, moong, mudga, mudga (seed), mug, muga, mung, mung bean, mung pea|mun / mun eta, mung-bean, munga, mungalya, mungbohne, mungböna, mungi, nogdu, pachha pesalu, pasi payaru, pattchai payaru, pesalu, phaseoli radiati semen, siru murg.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Afghanistan, Africa, Angola, Argentina, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Caribbean, Central Africa, Central America, China, Congo, East Africa, East Timor, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guam, Guinea, Guinée, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Indochina, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Laos, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Marianas, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Africa, North America, Northeastern India, Oman, Pacific, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, SE Asia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Southern Africa, South America, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Uganda, USA, Vietnam, West Africa, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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Vigna unguiculata cylindricaJerusalem PeaAnnual0.5 10-12  LMNM210
Vigna unguiculata unguiculataBlack-Eyed PeaAnnual Climber4.0 10-12 FLMHSNDM422

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(L.) R.Wilczek.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Vigna radiata  
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