Family • Fabaceae / Leguminosae - Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. - WING BEAN - Si leng dou

Common names

Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC.
Dolichos tetragonolobus Linn.
Botor tetragonolobus (L.) Kuntze.

Common names

Kalamismis (Tag.)
Kabey (Bis.)
Segidilla (Tag.)
Sigarilyas (Tag.)
Asparagus bean (Engl.)
Four-angled bean (Engl.)
Goa bean (Engl.)
Princess pea (Engl.)
Short-day asparagus pea (Engl.)
Winged bean (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

BURMESE: e saung ya, Hto pong, Ku bemya.
CHINESE: Si leng dou, Si jiao dou.
DANISH: Goabønne, Goaboenne.
DUTCH: Ketjipir.
FINNISH: Goanpapu.
FRENCH: Pois asperge, Pois carré, Haricot ailé, Pois ailé.
GERMAN: Flügelbohne.
HINDI: Chaukoni sem.
ITALIAN: Fagiolo quadrato.
JAPANESE: Shikaku mame, Tousai, Urizun.
KHMER: Prâpiëy.
LAOTIAN: Thwàx ph’uu.
MALAY: Kecipir, Kethipir, Ketjeepir, Kachang botol, Kacang kelisa, Kachang botor, Kacang sirek, Kechang bolon, Kachang belimbing.
PORTUGUESE: Fava de cavalo.
RUSSIAN: Psofokarpus chetyrekhkylyi.
SINHALESE: Dara dambala, Darambulla.
SPANISH: Dólico de Goa, Frijol alado, Judia careta, Calamismis.
SWEDISH: Vingböna.
THAI: Thua phuu.


Sigarilyas is a vine with climbing stems and leaves, to a height of 3-4 meters. Leaves are pinnate or palmate to trifoliate. Bean pod is about 6 to 8 inches long, four-angled. Flowers are large and pale to bright blue.



Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITIES AND TOXICITY OF CRUDE EXTRACT OF THE PSOPHOCARPUS TETRAGONOLOBUS PODS / ISSN 0189-6016©2007 / L. Yoga Latha, S. Sasidharan et al / Afr. J. Trad. CAM (2007) 4 (1): 59 – 63

(2) Aluminum contents of the edible portions of the winged bean, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. (Fabaceae): field study and caveat / Harder D K / Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1994 Feb;45(2):127-37.

(3) Phytohemagglutinins in the Winded Bean Psophocarpus tetragonolobus L. DC / S S Sri Kantha and N S Hettiarachchy / J. Natn. Sci. Coun. Sri Lanka 1981 9(2): 223-228


(5) Two isolectins from leaves of winged bean, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. / Yagi F, Sawada R, Imada T, Toyonaga S, Tadera K, Ishihata K / Plant & cell physiology 35:7 1994 Oct pg 1087-95

(6) Effect of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus pod extract on Candida albicans / S. Sasidharan*, Z. Zuraini, L. Yoga Latha, S. Suryani, and S. Sangetha / Journal of Tropical Medicinal Plants, Vol 9, No 1.

(7) Evaluation of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-nociceptive activities of six Malaysian medicinal plants / K. H. Lee, A. M. Padzil, A. Syahida*, N. Abdullah, S. W. Zuhainis, M. Maziah, M. R. Sulaiman, D. A. Israf, K. Shaari and N. H. Lajis / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, Vol.5(23), pp. 5555-5563 , October 2011

(8) Physicochemical analysis of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC seeds with fatty acids and total lipids compositions / Chandra Sekhar Mohanty & Rama Chandra Pradhan & Vinayak Singh & Neha Singh & Rojalin Pattanayak & Om Prakash & Chandan Singh Chanotiya & Prasant Kumar Rout / J Food Sci Technol DOI 10.1007/s13197-014-1436-1

(9) Sorting Psophocarpus names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 – 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.

– Seasonal cultivation.

– Rich in oil (up to 17%), protein, vitamin E and calcium.
– Proximate analysis showed P. tetragonolobus to be rich in proteins (33.83%), with considerably high amount of carbohydrate (22.30%). Fat content was 17.51%; crude fiber, 12.23%; water content, P>0.05. (see study below) (6)
– Mineral composition (mg/kg) of winged beans yielded magnesium, 2238.18 ±0.04; zinc, 364.76 ±0.64; copper, 90.79 ±0.72; calcium, 889.86 ±0.63, sodium, 1972.34 ± 0.69; potassium, 4219.30 ± 0.81. (6)
– Study showed that fatty oil from fully mature seeds had a higher proportion of unsaturated fatty acids (75.5%); immature seeds yielded a higher percentage of saturated FA (61.3%). Unsaponification of fatty oil yielded stigmasterol (66.4%) and ß-sitosterol (25.1%). Total lipids of fully mature seeds yielded neutral, glyco- and phospholipids. Fatty oil of fully mature seeds yielded mono-saturated FA (38.6%) and polyunsaturated FA (36.9%) without trans-fatty acids, thereby meeting the edible oil standard.

– Studies have suggested antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, antioxidant properties.

– Whole plant is edible, the beans used as vegetable; but the other parts –leaves, flowers and roots–are also edible.
– Flowers used as rice and pastry colorant.
– Young leaves can be pickled or prepared as vegetable, like spinach.
– Good source of vitamins A and C, calcium and iron.
– Roasted seed used as coffee substitute.

No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.

Study Findings
• Antimicrobial: Results of study of extract of PT pods showed activity against B. subtilis and B. cereus, P mirabilis, E coli, S typhi, K pneumonia and C albicans and suggested a potential source for antimicrobial compounds.  Methanol extract of Psophocarpus tetragonologus leaves exhibited bactericidal effect on Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
• Fungicidal: Study of methanol extract of PT root showed no toxicity and a favorable antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans.
• Aluminum Content of Edible Portion: Study was done to evaluate the accumulation of aluminum in the edible parts of the plant: leaves, pods, seeds and tubers. Results showed all edible portions of the plant accumulate aluminum from high to very high levels compared to an average of less than 300 ppm in other crop plants; the accumulation was highest in the youngest tissues, especially the roots, recording as high as 25,000 ppm.
• Phytohemagglutinins / Seeds: One of the drawbacks in the utilisation of winged bean protein is the presence of anti-nutritional factors typical of legumes. Study evaluated the seeds from eleven cultivars of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus for phytohemagglutinin activity. Levels ranges from 3,200 to 25,600 hemagglutinating units/g sample, on a fresh weight basis. Seeds showed greater activity than tubers and leaves. Phytohemagglutinins were found to be thermolabile.
• Proximate Analysis: Winged beans is unique among leguminous crops in that many plant parts—leaves, pods, seeds, and tubers—are edible and rich in protein. Based on findings on proximate analysis, winged beans could be useful in the formulation of infant formula. (see constituents above)
• Isolectins / Leaves: Study isolated two isolectins from the leaves of winged bean, differing from each other in immunological properties, hemagglutinating activities, sugar inhibition patterns, and amino aid compositions.
• Anti-Candidal / Pod Extract: Study evaluated a pod extract of Psophocarpus tetragonolobus for antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans. Results showed alteration in morphology and complete collapse of yeast cells after 36 hours of exposure. Study confirms the possible antimicrobial potential of the pod extract.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Anti-Nociceptive: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-nociceptive properties of six Malaysian medicinal plants, including Psophocarpus tetragonolobus. All plants showed significant nitric oxide inhibitory activity without causing cytotoxicity to RAW 264.7 cells. All plants showed different degrees of antioxidant activities, attributed to phenolic compounds. All plant species suppressed writhing response of mice at different degrees of inhibition.