Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Entada phaseoloides (L.) Merr.

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Flowers. © Barry Jago
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit. © W. T. Cooper
Fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem transverse section. © CSIRO

Merrill, E.D. (1914) Philippine Journal of Science Section C. Botany 9: 86.

Common name

Matchbox Bean; Vine, Gogo; Matchbox Bean; Elva Climber; Climber, Elva; Elva Climber; Vine, Go-go; Go-go Vine; Bean, Matchbox; Gogo Vine


Vine stem diameters to 18 cm recorded. Stems laterally compressed or flattened and twisted like a corkscrew. Vessels large, readily visible to the naked eye in transverse sections. Included bark segments pink. Pith eccentric, located much closer to one margin than the other in stem cross sections.


Leaves bipinnate with about 8-16 leaflets, (two to four leaflets on each secondary axis) main rhachis projecting as a branched tendril beyond the leaf. Leaflet blades about 4-11 x 2.5-5.5 cm, leaflet stalks about 0.1-0.7 cm long, transversely wrinkled. Stipules linear, falcate, about 2-4 x 2 mm. Lateral veins forming loops well inside the blade margin. Scattered large clear glands visible to the naked eye in the leaflet blades, numerous smaller glands visible with a lens.


Flowers +/- cup-shaped, about 1.5 mm diam. at the apex. Corolla pink to red on the outer surface, inner surface cream or translucent. Petals about 3 x 1-1.5 mm. Staminal filaments crumpled in the bud, filaments about 6-7 mm long at anthesis. Style crumpled in the bud. Ovules about 12.


Fruits flattened, about 88-100 x 9-12 cm, constricted at intervals and divided into about 12 segments, each segment about 7 x 9-10 cm, surrounded by endocarp and falling from the pod leaving only the sutures of the pod attached to the vine. Exocarp shed by rolling up into rolls of tissue. Endocarp not hard, +/- leathery or like parchment. Seeds laterally compressed, about 5-6 cm diam. and 1-1.5 cm thick. Testa hard. Cotyledons hard, about 4.5-5.5 x 4.5-5 cm diam., fused around the margin. Radicle about 4 mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 100 m. Grows in beach forest, gallery forest, monsoon forest and lowland rain forest. Also occurs in New Guinea and other parts of Malesia, Asia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Tailed Green-banded Blue Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

This species may have medicinal properties and has been used as a fish poison.

This species has been used medicinally in Malaysia, the Philippines and Java. The fruits are regarded as a contraceptive. Cribb (1981).

Entada scandens (L.) Benth., Hooker's Journal of Botany 4 : 332(1841). Lens phaseoloides L. in O.Stickman, Herb. Amoin. : 18(1754), Type: Basd on desciption & plate of Faba marina Rumph. Herb. Amboin. 5: pl. 4 (1750).
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