Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Inga vera - Willd.

Common Name Ice cream bean, River koko, Guaba, Pois Doux
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Tropical moist forest[315 ]. Along riverbanks and in sheltered ravines at elevations of 60 - 700 metres[426 ]. Prefers damp to wet soils, growing mainly in secondary formations[419 ].
Range Tropical S. America, north to the Caribbean and through Central America to Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Inga vera Ice cream bean, River koko, Guaba, Pois Doux


botanicimage.com
Inga vera Ice cream bean, River koko, Guaba, Pois Doux
wikimedia.org

 

Translate this page:

Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Inga vera is an evergreen Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Feuilleea spuria (Willd.) Kuntze Feuilleea xalapensis (Benth.) Kuntze Inga berteroana DC. Inga donnell-smithii Pittier Inga eriocarpa Benth. Inga fissicalyx Pittier Inga meissneriana Miq. Inga mociniana G. Don Inga spuria Kunth Inga uraguensis Hook. & Arn. Inga xalapensis Benth. Mimosa spuria (Willd.) Poir. Mimosa vera L.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

The sweet tasting pulp found surrounding the seeds inside the pod is eaten[46 , 317 , 418 ]. It is not widely appreciated[416 ]. The nearly cylindrical, narrow pods are 10 - 20cm long, 1 - 2cm wide[418 ].

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.


The macerated bark is taken orally as a treatment for anaemia[418 ]. A decoction of the root is used as a treatment for gallstones[418 ]. The pulp of the fruit is a treatment for constipation[418 ]. It is reported to be astringent and diuretic[418 ].

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Design: Shade tree; Street tree; Public open space. The bark is a source of tannins[317 ]. It is used for dyeing textiles[317 ]. The heartwood is pale brown to golden brown, with longitudinal streaks or patches of darker brown often shaded with green or yellow; the sapwood is whitish. The wood is moderately heavy; moderately hard; strong; tough; of low durability, being very susceptible to attack by drywood termites and other insects and to decay in contact with the ground. Rate of air-seasoning is rapid, and amount of degrade is moderate. Machining characteristics are as follows: planing, turning, boring, mortising, sanding, and resistance to screw splitting are good; and shaping is poor. It is used for making posts and small implements such as boxes, toys, pencils etc[418 , 419 , 447 ]. The wood makes an excellent fuel and is also used to make charcoal[303 , 418 , 447 ]. The commonest coffee shade tree.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Alley crop  Agroforestry Services: Crop shade  Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Industrial Crop: Biomass  Management: Coppice  Management: Standard  Minor Global Crop

A plant of the humid, lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 28°c, but can tolerate 15 - 35°c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 1,200 - 4,000mm[418 ]. Succeeds in full sun and in dappled shade[418 ]. Succeeds on a wide variety of soils, including limestone[303 , 418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 8, tolerating 5.5 - 8.5[418 ]. A fast-growing tree[418 , 419 ]. The plant can flower and produce fruits throughout the year[303 , 418 ]. 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[755 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Alley crop  Integrates annual crops with rows of perennials.
  • Agroforestry Services: Crop shade  Plants providing crop shade especially trees.
  • Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Simply managed rows of shrubs and trees.
  • Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Plants that contribute to nitrogen fixation include the legume family – Fabaceae.
  • Industrial Crop: Biomass  Three broad categories: bamboos, resprouting woody plants, and giant grasses. uses include: protein, materials (paper, building materials, fibers, biochar etc.), chemicals (biobased chemicals), energy - biofuels
  • Management: Coppice  Cut to the ground repeatedly - resprouting vigorously. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Minor Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world, but on a smaller scale than the global perennial staple and industrial crops, The annual value of a minor global crop is under $1 billion US. Examples include shea, carob, Brazil nuts and fibers such as ramie and sisal.

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position either in a nursery seedbed or in individual containers. A germination rate of around 100% can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 3 - 5 days[419 ]. Transplant the seedbed seedlings to individual containers when they are 4 - 6cm tall. The seedlings develop quickly and should be ready to plant out 3 - 4 months later[419 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Cuajinicuil, Pwa dou, Sikren, Guama, Guaba,ice-cream-bean, joaquiniquil, Mex. Cuaniquil,

Found In

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

Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guianas, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, North America, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, South America, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela, Virgin Islands

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.

None Known

Conservation Status

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

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Annona vepretorumAraticum, Pinha da Caatinga, Araticum-da-bahiaTree6.0 10-12 SLMHND402
Archidendron jiringaJengkol, JiringaTree20.0 10-12 MLMHSNM422
Cacalia pseudo-taimingasa Perennial0.0 -  LMHFSM10 
Cyperus longusGalingalePerennial1.2 6-9 FLMHNMWeWa21 
Drepanostachyum falcatumRingalBamboo3.5 7-10 SLMSM20 
Guibourtia pellegrianaAkume, Bubinga, WakaTree25.0 10-12 SLMHNM004
Guibourtia tessmanniiBubinga, KevazingoTree50.0 10-12 SLMHNM004
Inga cinnamomeaInga Assu, Inga AcuTree12.0 10-12 FLMHNM403
Inga densifloraDensely flowered IngaTree15.0 10-12 MLMHNM402
Inga edulisIce Cream Bean, Monkey TamarindTree18.0 9-12 FLMHSNDMWe423
Inga insignisGuaba de zorroTree8.0 10-12 MLMHSNDM400
Inga jinicuilIce Cream Bean, JinicuilTree20.0 10-12 FLMHNM401
Microberlinia bisulcataZinganaTree35.0 10-12 FLMNM004
Microberlinia brazzavillensisZinganaTree35.0 10-12 FLMHNM004
Mimosa scabrellaabaracaatinga, bracaatinga, bracatingaTree10.0 10-12 FLMHNMWe004
Moringa oleiferaHorseradish Tree, Moringa,Tree8.0 10-12 FLMHN 445
Moringa peregrinaMoringaTree8.0 10-12 MLMHNDM223
Moringa stenopetalaAfrican horseradish tree, cabbagetreeTree9.0 10-12 MLMHSNDM434
Syringa josikaeaHungarian LilacShrub4.0 2-7 MLMHNM00 
Syringa vulgarisLilac, Common lilacShrub6.0 3-7 MLMHNM11 
Yushania ancepsRingalBamboo4.5 8-11  LMHFSNM00 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

Willd.

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.

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Inga vera  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.