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Mucuna Bean, Deer-eye, Donkey-eye, Ox-eye, Hamburger Bean

Mucuna sp.


There are more than a hundred species of mucuna, climbing vines and shrubs, and I couldn't identify this exact one in a search. The seed is an inch across, dark brown with black spots. The tan pods are 5-6" long by 1½" wide, and very fuzzy. You can tell how many seeds each one holds by the number of bulges on the pod.


Dozens of pods were hanging from trees over the banks of the Macal River in western Belize, and seeds were scattered on the ground. The surrounding habitat is rainforest and moist meadow with rampant macal plants (elephant ear, coco).


Mucuna seeds come in all shapes and sizes, but a good characteristic is the "zipper" going all around the edge. One name for such seeds is the Hamburger Bean, and it really does look like a tiny one. Since they live along waterways, they often fall into the water, are washed to sea, and end up on beaches as "Sea Beans."

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Irene Brady
Spotted by
Irene Brady

Belmopan, Cayo, Belize

Spotted on Jan 11, 2012
Submitted on Feb 11, 2016

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