Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Entada gigas
(sea-bean)

Dube S, 2017. Entada gigas (sea-bean). Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CABI. DOI:10.1079/ISC.21198.20203482871

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Datasheet

Entada gigas (sea-bean)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 26 August 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Entada gigas
  • Preferred Common Name
  • sea-bean
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Entada gigas is a flowering liana native to Central America, the Caribbean, northern South America and Africa. It is one of the main invasive woody plant (creeper) species on Mohéli and Mayotte on the Comoros Archipelago. Creepers like ...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Habit. McBryde Garden, Kauai, Hawaii. August 2007.
TitleHabit
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Habit. McBryde Garden, Kauai, Hawaii. August 2007.
CopyrightPublic Domain - Released by Gh5046/via Wikimedia Commons
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Habit. McBryde Garden, Kauai, Hawaii. August 2007.
HabitEntada gigas (sea-bean); Habit. McBryde Garden, Kauai, Hawaii. August 2007.Public Domain - Released by Gh5046/via Wikimedia Commons
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Habit. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. March 2016.
TitleHabit
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Habit. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. March 2016.
Copyright©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Habit. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. March 2016.
HabitEntada gigas (sea-bean); Habit. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. March 2016.©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Branches. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
TitleBranches
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Branches. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
Copyright©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Branches. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
BranchesEntada gigas (sea-bean); Branches. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Branch. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
TitleBranch
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Branch. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
Copyright©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Branch. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
BranchEntada gigas (sea-bean); Branch. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Young plant. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.
TitleYoung plant
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Young plant. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.
Copyright©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Young plant. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.
Young plantEntada gigas (sea-bean); Young plant. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Leaves. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.
TitleLeaves
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Leaves. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.
Copyright©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Leaves. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.
LeavesEntada gigas (sea-bean); Leaves. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Flowers. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.
TitleFlowers
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Flowers. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.
Copyright©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Flowers. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.
FlowersEntada gigas (sea-bean); Flowers. Charcos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. January 2005.©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Immature seed. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
TitleImmature seed
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Immature seed. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
Copyright©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Immature seed. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
Immature seedEntada gigas (sea-bean); Immature seed. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Immature seed pod. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
TitleImmature seed pod
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Immature seed pod. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
Copyright©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Immature seed pod. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.
Immature seed podEntada gigas (sea-bean); Immature seed pod. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2015.©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Mature seed. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2014.
TitleMature seed
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Mature seed. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2014.
Copyright©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Mature seed. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2014.
Mature seedEntada gigas (sea-bean); Mature seed. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. February 2014.©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Seedpod. June 2016.
TitleSeedpod
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Seedpod. June 2016.
Copyright©Arn/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Seedpod. June 2016.
SeedpodEntada gigas (sea-bean); Seedpod. June 2016.©Arn/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Sprouting plant held in hand. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. November 2015.
TitleSprouting plant
CaptionEntada gigas (sea-bean); Sprouting plant held in hand. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. November 2015.
Copyright©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Entada gigas (sea-bean); Sprouting plant held in hand. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. November 2015.
Sprouting plantEntada gigas (sea-bean); Sprouting plant held in hand. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. November 2015.©Reinaldo Aguilar/via Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Entada gigas (L.) Fawc. & Rendle

Preferred Common Name

  • sea-bean

Other Scientific Names

  • Entada gigalobium DC.
  • Entada planoseminata (De Wild.) G.C.C.Gilbert & Boutique
  • Entada scandens (L.) Benth.
  • Entada umbonata Boutique
  • Mimosa gigas L.
  • Mimosa scandens L.

International Common Names

  • English: monkey ladder; nicker-bean; sea heart
  • French: coeur de la mer
  • Portuguese: coração-do-mar; fava-do-mar
  • Thai: saba

Local Common Names

  • : molucca bean
  • Costa Rica: habilla; monkey escalera
  • Cuba: boja; cayajabo; guacalote; poa; poa; poja
  • Dominican Republic: caracol; chocho; mackay bean; Saint John's bread; samo; sea bean; sea heart; St. Thomas bean; sword bean; water vine; zamo
  • Haiti: acacie à grandes gousses; cacorne; liane cacorne
  • India: ahakkatela; ahakkatla; anaittellu; anatata; arsi; barabi chian; bidhanta; bor gilla; camputtirappuliyan; chhui; chillu; cillu; doddakampi; entada; garambi; garbe; garbe ghila; gila; gilagach; gila-lewa; gilar lot; gila-tiga; gilatige; gilla; gillatige; gilo; girambi; giridi; haleballi; halle; hallebilu; hallekayiballi ; irikki ; kakkavalli; kakkumkay; karrunari ; karunari; kastorikaman, ; kirancakamirakkoti; kirancakamiram; kurunurari; makkanka; nukkuki; nukkukikkoti; osta; ottolakkoti; ottolam; palleburu; pangra; paranda; paranta; paringakakavully; paringakavalli; parin-kakavalli; peddamadupu; perimkakuvalli; perumancati; perumkakkavalli; perumkakkavalli; peruntellu; peyarttavakkoti; peyarttavam; puswel; shuri; sillu; sue budu; taktokhyem; tandramanu; tel; tellu; tellukkoti; tikativva; vattavalli; viccali; viccalittellu; yanaittellu
  • Indonesia/Java: bendoh
  • Jamaica: cacoon; cacoon
  • Lesser Antilles: liane boeuf; liane oua-oua; liane-boeuf
  • Malaysia: sentok
  • Nepal: pangra
  • Nigeria: aagbaa
  • Philippines: balonos; balugo; barugo; bayogo; bayugo; gogo
  • Portugal: fava de colom
  • Spain: heart sea
  • Sri Lanka: pus-wel
  • Sudan: charivu
  • Uruguay: lives of luck
  • USA: sea heart

Summary of Invasiveness

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Entada gigas is a flowering liana native to Central America, the Caribbean, northern South America and Africa. It is one of the main invasive woody plant (creeper) species on Mohéli and Mayotte on the Comoros Archipelago. Creepers like E. gigas invade mainly disturbed or open areas forming monospecific carpets. E. gigas along with other species of creepers are one of the main threats to the biodiversity of the Comoros archipelago. This species can grow extremely quickly towards light and has the ability to entangle trees. In Gabon, an individual E. gigas liana with a stem diameter of over 30 cm used 13 canopy trees to reach gaps covering a distance of several hundred metres. This phenomenon is common in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and other West African countries. E. gigas is also reported to be invasive in Cuba with evidence of impact; no further details are given.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Mimosoideae
  •                                 Genus: Entada
  •                                     Species: Entada gigas

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The legume family Fabaceae is the third largest family of flowering plants with more than 18,000 described species. This family consists of three subfamilies: Caesalpinieae, Mimosoideae, and Papilionoideae. Entada is a genus of the subfamily Mimosoideae, consisting of some 30 species of  lianas and scandent shrubs or subshrubs distributed in tropical and subtropical regions (Nielsen, 1981; Nielsen et al., 1992; ILDIS, 2005).

There is still some confusion regarding the taxonomy of Entada species as a result of which the vernacular is also not settled, and some of the names listed may be applicable to other species.

According to Williams (2012) and Missouri Botanical Garden (2016), E. gigas is a synonym of E. phaseoloides. However, both are recognized as separate species by GBIF (2020), POWO (2020) and World Flora Online (2020).

E. gigas is a species of flowering liana notable for having the family's largest seed pods, measuring 12 cm across, reaching up to 2 m in length (Kaplan, 1988). This species, popularly known as lucky bean, is believed to have inspired Columbus to explore new lands in the west. In parts of the Azores, E. gigas is known as "fava de colom", which translates to Columbus Bean. High above the forest floor, E. gigas provides pathways through the trees for species like snakes, lizards and monkeys. For this reason, it is also known as ‘monkey ladder’ in many regions (Arthur, 2012).

Description

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The following description is based on that given by Brenan (1970).

Large liana up to 25 m. high, unarmed; young branchlets subglabrous to puberulous or sometimes pubescent. Rhachis of leaves with (1)2 pairs of pinnae, and ending in a forked tendril; leaflets (3)4(5) pairs, 1.8-8 x 0.8-4 cm, elliptic to obovate-elliptic, often asymmetric, emarginate at the obtuse or rounded apex, glabrous above except for the puberulous midrib, glabrous also beneath except near the base of the leaflet and (sometimes) for some pubescence along the midrib. Spike-like racemes arising from the stem c. 3-5 mm. above the leaf-axils, solitary, 8-25 cm. long, ± pubescent, on a peduncle 1.5-6 cm. long; pedicels 1-1.5(2) mm. long, slender. Flowers creamy to greenish or yellowish. Calyx 1-1.25 mm. long, somewhat puberulous or glabrous, sometimes pubescent. Petals 2·5-3 mm. long. Stamen-filaments 3.5-6 mm. long. Pods gigantic, 40-120 cm. x 7.5-12 cm., less woody than in E. pursaetha, twisted into a single or double lax spiral, with the sides also often twisted; outer layer of pod falling away to expose the thick chartaceous somewhat flexible inner layer. Seeds c. 4-5.5 cm. in diam..

Plant Type

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Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Vine / climber
Woody

Distribution

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Entada gigas is distributed in West and Central Africa extending into Uganda and Zambia and also in Central America, Colombia and the Caribbean (Brink and Achigan-Dako, 2012). The wide distribution of this species is likely due to the fact that the seeds are dispersed by ocean currents. 

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 26 Aug 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AngolaPresentNative
CameroonPresentNative
Central African RepublicPresentNative
ComorosPresentIntroducedListed as both native and introduced by different sources. Invasive according to Vos (2004)
Côte d'IvoirePresentInvasive
Equatorial GuineaPresentNative
GabonPresentNative
GhanaPresentNative
LiberiaPresentNative
MayottePresentNativeInvasive
Sierra LeonePresentNative
SudanPresentNative
TogoPresentNative
UgandaPresentNative
ZambiaPresentNative
ZimbabwePresentNative

Asia

IndiaPresent

North America

BelizePresentNative
Costa RicaPresentNative
CubaPresentIntroducedInvasiveListed as both native and introduced by different sources
Dominican RepublicPresentNative
GuadeloupePresentNative
GuatemalaPresentNative
HaitiPresentNative
HondurasPresentNative
JamaicaPresentNative
MartiniquePresentNative
MexicoPresentNative
NicaraguaPresentNative
PanamaPresentNative

South America

ColombiaPresentNative
EcuadorPresentNative
French GuianaPresentNative
VenezuelaPresentNative

History of Introduction and Spread

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Entada gigas seeds contain a hollow cavity which confers buoyancy. Washed by rain into rivers and then the ocean, the seeds drift long distances on ocean currents from one continent to another. Seed buoyancy and viability lasts at least two years (Loewer, 2005). E. gigas seeds are carried over long distances on the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean regions (Black et al., 2006); this journey starts from Central America across the Atlantic Ocean, reaching European shores every year. Locals have given them different names (Bridgewater, 2012).

Habitat

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Entada gigas climbs trees using them as support and is commonly seen twining through the forest canopy, hanging on trees. It grows in wet to moist lowlands but does not like soggy conditions; frequently found among riverine vegetation, the segments of its pods dispersed by water (Nielsen et al., 1992).

In West Africa, E. gigas is very common in coastal habitats including beaches and dry areas (Irvine, 1970). 

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Secondary/tolerated habitat
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Principal habitat
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Principal habitat

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for E. gigas is 2n = 28 (Santos et al., 2012).

Reproductive Biology

E. gigas produces long fruits or pods containing seeds lodged in up to 15 individual compartments. Each seed has a diameter of 6 cm and a thickness of 2 cm; the seeds contain a hollow cavity which gives them buoyancy (Kaplan, 1988). 

Despite floating for months and years in ocean currents, some seeds retain the capacity to germinate (Bridgewater, 2012). Generally, seeds transported by water germinate when they reach land. Most E. gigas seeds remain viable for two years (Loewer, 2005).

Physiology and Phenology

E. gigas has blue-black seeds the shape of a heart,  measuring several centimetres across. These seeds are produced in long pods over 100 cm on vines (Black et al., 2006). When the fruit breaks open the buoyant seeds (6 cm by 5 cm) are released and start floating with the water current (Ingrouille and Eddie, 2006). In India, E. gigas has yellowish white flowers in axillary pendulous spikes and reddish brown pods (Quattrocchi, 2012).

Longevity

E. gigas is a perennial, climbing vine or shrub (Quattrocchi, 2012).

Environmental Requirements

E. gigas survives best in tropical climates and in regions that have good rainfall. It climbs trees to reach the sunlight. Seeds may sprout in the northern temperate climates but will not survive cold temperatures (Moody, 2006)

Although E. gigas cannot flourish in cold climates plants have been propagated from seed in European botanical gardens (Arthur, 2012).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
28 27

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) -1 4.5

Rainfall Regime

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Bimodal
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid

Soil texture

  • light

Notes on Natural Enemies

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The African squirrel Protoxerus stangeri feeds extensively on the seeds of E. gigas (Eldredge and Stanley, 1984). In Panama, scatter hoarding rodents (Rodentia) are seed predators of E. gigas (Forget, 1993); in Cameroon, birds, monkeys and squirrels are predators of E. gigas (Clark et al., 2001).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Entada gigas produces 1.5-m long seed pods which fragment upon maturity releasing large buoyant seeds which can survive long-distance dispersal in rivers and ocean currents, frequently washing up on coastal areas up to thousands of kilometres from the source plants (Smith, 1999; Perry and Dennis, 2003).

Since E. gigas commonly grows along streams and rivers the seeds are easily dispersed on water. After reaching the sea and ocean the seeds travel across from one continent to another, hence the name ‘sea heart’ (Black et al., 2006). E. gigas are embedded in woody durable pods. The pods fall from the tree into the river and float away. When the pods break open the seeds are easily dispersed in water and can travel long distance across the sea (Attenborough, 1995). E. gigas seeds contain a hollow cavity which confers buoyancy (Loewer, 2005). 

The seeds of E. gigas are also probably dispersed by scatter hoarding rodents (Forget, 1993).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Botanical gardens and zoos Yes Arthur (2012)
Internet sales Yes Yes
Ornamental purposes Yes Yes
Seed trade Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Mail Yes Yes
WaterSeeds Yes Yes Black et al. (2006); Bridgewater (2012)

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Positive

Environmental Impact

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Entada gigas can grow very quickly towards light and has the ability to entangle trees. Caballe (1980) observed in Gabon, an individual E. gigas liana with a stem diameter of over 30 cm that used 13 canopy trees to reach gaps covering a distance of several hundred metres.

On the Comoros Archipelago, on Mayotte and the southern slopes of Mohéli, E. gigas smothers the underlying vegetation through its weight (breaking the trees) and reduces light intensity thereby preventing photosynthesis in the underlying vegetation (Vos, 2004).

Impact: Biodiversity

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Entada gigas is one of the invasive creepers on Mohéli and Mayotte, on the Comoros Archipelago and a threat to the biodiversity of the archipelago. It impacts forest regeneration and structure (Vos, 2004). 

The impact of E. gigas is particularly noticeable in Mayotte and on the southern slopes of Mohéli where the underlying vegetation is smothered as a result of its weight (which breaks the trees) and light intensity is reduced (preventing photosynthesis in the underlying vegetation). Consequently in the long term, there are irreversible impacts on the fauna. For instance, at Nioumachoua on Mohéli, creepers are a direct threat to the resting places and feeding grounds of the bat Pteropus livingstonii, a highly endangered species according to the IUCN (Vos, 2004).

The trees that E. gigas climbs usually have smaller diameter increments, slower height growth, less fruit production, and a high mortality rate (Bongers et al., 2005).

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Negatively impacts animal health
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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Economic Benefits

Although the seeds of E. gigas are said to be toxic or poisonous these can be consumed following removal of the poison by prolonged soaking and roasting prior to use (Quattrocchi, 2012; Foster et al., 2020).

A study by Ogungbenle and Oyadipe (2015) showed that E. gigas is a potential source of nutrients and should therefore be cultivated and its consumption encouraged, once antinutritional factors are reduced through processing. The high oleic acid content of E. gigas seed oil is useful in the production of soaps, shampoo and cosmetics; the oil may also be used as an emollient for softening the skin, irritation alleviator and laxative (Ogungbenle and Omodara, 2014).

Social Benefits

Many species of Entada are used to promote healing, prevent infections and provide pain relief; just about every part of the plant can be used in the preparation of remedies (Williams, 2012). In India ground seeds are used to treat snake bites, constipation and as a contraceptive (Armstrong, 2020). E. gigas seeds are used to treat diarrhoea in Nigeria (Ariwaodo et al., 2012).  In Cameroon leaf extracts from E. gigas are known for antibacterial properties and used for treating infectious diseases (Fankam et al., 2014). In the Democratic Republic of Congo, boiled leaves are eaten as a relish while the inner bark is used to make very strong rope (Terashima and Ichikawa, 2003). In Gabon, stem bark decoctions are used in the management of diabetes mellitus (Tjeck et al., 2017), diarrhoea and microbial infections (Ariwaodo et al., 2012; Fankam et al., 2014).

The roots and stems of E. gigas have been used as laundry soap and shampoo (Ogungbenle and Omodara, 2014).  

Sailors in England carried sea hearts with them as lucky charms, believing they would protect the wearer during the journey on water. The seeds of E. gigas are painted and sold as lucky pendants in Jamaica (Armstrong, 2020) and are also one of the popular drift seeds used in botanical jewellery (Armstrong, 2020).

In Ghana E. gigas is planted at the village entrance to ward off accidents and misfortune (Brink and Achigan-Dako, 2012)

In India, E. gigas seeds are given to buffalo calves to kill worms (Quattrocchi, 2012).

Environmental Services

Nodulation has been reported for the first time in E. gigas in the primary rainforests of Guinea. This ability to form nitrogen-fixing nodules in symbiosis with rhizobia could play an important role in the restoration of nitrogen-depleted soils, and might be used as priority pioneer species for the rehabilitation of degraded and overexploited rainforests (Diabate et al., 2005).

Leaf, seed and bark extracts in water are toxic to snails (Prakash and rao, 1997).

Uses List

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General

  • Sociocultural value

Human food and beverage

  • Seeds

Materials

  • Beads
  • Oils

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore
  • Veterinary

Ornamental

  • Seed trade

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Entada gigas looks very similar to E. phaseoloides. Both have large woody seeds which are similar in size. But the seeds of  E. phaseoloides tend to be more rounded or rectangular in shape whereas those of E. gigas are heart shaped. The pods of E. phaseoloides generally do not exceed 0.9 m in length, and are more woody and stiff whereas E. gigas pods are flimsy and may be 0.9 to 1.8 m long.

References

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Ariwaodo JO, Adeniji KA, Onadeji OM, Shasanya OS, 2012. Survey of wild plant seeds and their value in traditional herbal medicine in Osun State, Nigeria. Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, 4(2), 38-51.

Armstrong WP, 2020. Wayne's word. https://www2.palomar.edu/users/warmstrong/

Arthur C, 2012. On the shoreline of knowledge: Irish wanderings, Iowa City, Iowa, USA: University of Iowa Press.230 pp.

Attenborough D, 1995. The private life of plants: a natural history of plant behaviour, London, UK: BBC.320 pp.

Black, M., Bewley, J. D., Halmer, P. , 2006. The encyclopedia of seeds: science, technology and uses, [ed. by Black, M., Bewley, J. D., Halmer, P. ]. Wallingford, UK: CABI.xiii + 828 pp. doi:10.1079/9780851997230.0000

Bongers, F., Parren, M. P. E., Traoré, D., 2005. Forest climbing plants of West Africa: diversity, ecology and management, [ed. by Bongers, F., Parren, M. P. E., Traoré, D.]. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing.273 pp. doi:10.1079/9780851999142.0000

Brenan, J. P. M., 1970. Flora Zambesiaca Vol. 3 part 1. Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Rhodesia, Botswana, [ed. by Brenan, J. P. M., Exell, A. W. et al]. London, UK: Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations.153 pp.

Bridgewater S, 2012. A natural history of Belize: inside the Maya forest, Austin, Texas, USA: University of Texas Press.400 pp.

Brink M, Achigan-Dako EG, 2012. Plant resources of tropical Africa 16. Fibres, [ed. by Brink M, Achigan-Dako EG]. Wageningen, Netherlands: PROTA Foundation.

Caballe, G., 1980. Growth characteristics and synecology of the liana Entada gigas (L.) Fawcett & Rendle (Leguminosae-Mimosoideae) in closed high forest in Gabon. (Caracteres de croissance et determinisme chlorologique [chorologique] de la liane Entada gigas (L.) Fawcett & Rendle (Leguminosae-Mimosoideae) en foret dense du Gabon). Adansonia, 20(3), 309-320.

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Distribution References

Bongers F, Parren M P E, Traoré D, 2005. Forest climbing plants of West Africa: diversity, ecology and management. [ed. by Bongers F, Parren M P E, Traoré D]. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing. 273 pp. DOI:10.1079/9780851999142.0000

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ILDIS, 2016. International Legume Database and Information Service: World Database of Legumes (version 10)., Reading, UK: School of Plant Sciences, University of Reading. http://www.ildis.org/

Oviedo Prieto R, Herrera Oliver P, Caluff M G, et al, 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba. 6 (Special Issue No. 1), 22-96.

Quattrocchi U, 2012. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. [ed. by Quattrocchi U]. London, UK: CRC Press Inc. 3960 pp.

USDA-ARS, 2016. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

Vos P, 2004. Forest Health and Biosecurity Working Paper, Rome, Italy: Forestry Department, Food and Agriculture Organization. vii + 34 pp. http://www.fao.org/documents/dep_result.asp?css=//www.fao.org/forestry/foris/css/docrep.css&series=388&RecordsPerPage=50&SortOrder=3&cover=no&new=no&keyworkds=y&lang=&Language=&nopsumm=y

Contributors

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25/07/2017 Original text by:

Shruti Dube, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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