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General description and special characteristics – Fish bean is an herbaceous to woody, leguminous herb or shrub capable of reaching a height of 2-3 m (6.5-10 ft) in just seven months. Flowers are purple with white markings or plain white and are 2.5 cm (1 in) wide. Pods usually contain 8 to 16 seeds. Fish bean is native to tropical Africa. It was introduced to tropical America and South and Southeast Asia as a cover crop.