Alkushi or Cowitch, Mucana pruriens
Alkushi or Cowitch (Mucana pruriens, family: Fabaceae) is an annual or sometimes perennial twinning vine. It is one of the best itch-producing fruits in the world. The leafy and hairy plant is found beside the roads, in village thickets and in the deep hilly forests of Bangladesh. It is also found in some countries of South and Southeast Asia.
Other names: Bilai chimti, Koch, Bichuti.
Leaves are tri-foliate, grey-silky beneath, leaflets ovate or almost quadrangular, 8-17 cm long, petioled. Leaf-nerves are unequal-sided.
6-30 flowers are in raceme inflorescence, pendulous, 15-30 cm long, tube campanulate, corolla usually deep purple, also be white or pink, 3-4 cm long. Flowering occurs in October-November.
Fruit is S-shaped pod that covered with numerous irritating or stinging hairs, grey in color, 5-8 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. Seeds 5-6, grey in color. Fruit matures in November-February.
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