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Related Species

Two related species may also be worth agronomic attention.


Tylosema fassoglense Grows from the Transvaal north through Central and East Africa to Sudan. This sprawling vine also yields edible seeds plus excellent livestock forage and a tuber with a wide variety of traditional medicinal uses. Like marama, the seeds are very high in protein (> 40 percent) and fats (> 30 percent), and widely appreciated.


Bauhinia petersiana A small shrub that grows together with the marama bean in open grasslands (as well as in sandy bushveld and woodlands) in Transvaal, Namibia, and Botswana, as well as in Angola and Zambia. The seeds can be eaten green, but ripe seeds are usually roasted, peeled, and pounded into a pleasant-tasting, coarse meal. The plant has been cultivated as an ornamental in South Africa and, given research, might also become a useful food crop for arid zones.



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