What Is The Definition Of A Black Bean?

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Though the term black bean can mean a variety of things including a range of beans, it can also refer to a type of tree found natively in Australia (Castanospermum australe), also called the Moreton Bay chestnut.

Bark and Height
The bark of the black bean is smooth and thin.

Black bean trees grow up to 130 feet tall in the wild, and 50 to 60 feet tall when cultivated.

Leaves
The leaves of the black bean tree are pinnate (having leaves branching off a larger leaf stem like a feather) and are one to one and a half feet long. The leaflets are five inches long, dark green and glossy. They are poisonous.

Flowers
The flowers of the black bean are 1.2 to 1.6 inches long, pea shaped, yellow to red colored and have long white stamens. They bloom in the middle of spring.

Fruit
The fruit of the black bean are cylinder shaped pods that are five to eight inches long. They are brown when immature and black when mature. They contain three to five poisonous seeds that are 1.6 to 2.4 inches across, and ripen in autumn.

Habitat
The black bean tree is native to eastern Australia, to beaches and rain forests, along river banks, stream banks and in terraces along the sides of mountains. It grows in moist and well drained soils and full sunlight. It is a drought resistant tree.

Function
The wood of the black bean is used in making furniture. The nuts were eaten by natives after being specially readied.

Resources

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/black+bean
The Free Dictionary: black bean

http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Fabaceae/Castanospermum_australe.html Moreton Bay Chestnut, Black Bean Tree

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pinnate
The Free Dictionary: pinnate

http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/interns-2002/castanospermum-australe.html

Castanospermum australe

http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/plant/Black-Bean-Tree-Castanospermum-Australe.htm

Castanospermum australe

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