English (en) | Change Language

Plant Information customized to the ECHO Asia Seed Bank.   These seeds are available from the Asia Seed Bank only for shipment within Asia.  

Please go to The ECHO Asia Seed Bank for more information on ordering.

58 Issues in this Publication (Showing issues 153 - 116) |

Leucaena leucocephala

General description and special characteristics – Leucaena is a multi-purpose tree species originally found in Central America and naturalized in Southeast Asia. It is a leguminous tree or shrub known for its use in fodder and agroforestry applications. Leaves have small pinnate leaflets, 2-4.5 mm long; flowers are generally white or pale-white; and pods are 11-19 cm long and flat, with 8-18 seeds.

Variety – K-500 Cunningham: an excellent forage variety developed in Australia. It is a cross between Salvador and Perutype cultivars.

Luffa cylindrica

General description and special characteristics - Luffa is a climbing annual that when mature, produces oblong fruit about 1 feet long that are full of fiber and oval, black seeds. The mature rind is hard but thin and can be softened and removed by soaking in water, leaving the fiber and seeds. The fiber of mature fruit has been used for bathing or cleaning dishes. 

Varieties -  Angled

  • Burmese Angled Luffa (พันธุ์ท้องถิ่นพม่า): Edible fruit (less than 30 cm/1 ft. long) and leaf shoots
  • Chiang Dao Smal Luffa (พันธุ์ท้องถิ่นมะนอย): Cucumber-like edible fruit 3-5 cm (1-2 in) long. Does not become spongy.

Varieties - Smooth

  • Smooth (ECHO) (พันธุ์เอคโค่ยาว):  Produces smooth plump fruit.
  • Thai Long (พันธุ์ท้องถิ่นยาว):  Produces smooth long fruit (~30 cm/12 in.).
  • Thai Oval (พันธุ์ท้องถิ่นสั้น):  Produces large oval fruit.

Momordica charantia

General description and special characteristics – A slender annual climbing to 3.0 -3.7 m (10-12 ft) tall with edible fruits and young vines that may be prepared in a variety of ways. The fruits are pear-shaped or oblong, growing to 10-15cm (4-6 in) long. 


Momordica cochinchinensis

General description and special characteristics – Gac is a large, climbing, perennial vine that can grow up to 20 feet, with 3-5 lobed dark green leaves. The fruit is ovate, 4-5 inches long, with small spines. The fruit is green until ripe, when it turns bright orange or red. When the fruit is cut, the flesh is ½ inch thick and pale yellow. The numerous seeds are embedded in an orange-red pulp. Gac seeds are dark grey-brown to black, 2.3 X 1.8 cm, nearly flat, and finely granular with about four short blunt teeth projecting on each side.

Variety – Local- Chiang Mai

Moringa oleifera

General description and special characteristics – The moringa tree is a drought resistant, fast growing, deciduous tree or shrub with an average height of 12 meters (39.4 ft) at maturity. It is also known as the horseradish tree and is native to northwestern India. Moringa is widely grown, however, in other parts of the old- and new-world tropics, including tropical Asia, many regions of Africa, and South and Central America. 

Varieties -

  • PKM-1: Developed in India, these trees tend to be bushier and yield more pods than non-improved moringa. Six months from planting to pod production.
  • Regional Mix: Mixture of various types native to Southeast Asia. Most parts of the plant are edible. Leaves high in protein, calcium, vitamins A, B, and C.

Mucuna pruriens

General description and special characteristics – Vigorous, vining, annual (sometimes biennial) legume. Vines may extend up to 18 m (19.7 yd) in length. Velvet bean originally came from China and eastern India where it was commonly grown as a green vegetable crop. 


  • Bush Variety (พันธุ์พุ่มเม็ดลาย): Doesn't climb, a good GMCC. Takes care of the soil well. The seeds are white with black speckles.
  • Chiang Dao (พันธุ์เลื้อยเม็ดดำ): Climbing variety. Requires short days for flower and pod production. An excellent green manure / cover crop. Seeds a black. 
  • Tropical (พ้นธุ์เลื้อยเม็ดสีขาวขุ่น):  Climbing variety. Requires short days for flower and pod production. An excellent green manure/ cover crop.

Pachyrhizus erosus

General description and special characteristics – A leguminous, tuber-producing, annual vine. Tubers are eaten raw and remain crunchy when cooked. Yam bean can be used as a cover crop or trellised. The tuber is high in carbohydrates but is otherwise low in nutritional value. Leaves and seeds contain the toxin rotenone and may be used as an insecticide or fish poison. 

Variety - Lao

Phaseolus lunatus

General description and special characteristics – A widely cultivated pulse crop in Myanmar, this annual is better adapted to the poor soils of the lowland humid tropics and gives better yields than common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Varieties can be climbing (2-4 m or 6.6 ft) length or bush (heights up to 0.9 m or 3 ft) types. Pods range in length between 5-12 cm (2-5 in). Among limas, both short-lived and long-lived perennials are grown.

Variety – Burma Red: Climbing lima bean with indeterminate production. Produces medium-sized red beans.

Phaseolus vulgaris

General description and special characteristics – An annual legume, the common bean includes bushy varieties (bush beans) as well as vining types (pole beans) that may reach about 2 m (6.6 ft.) in height. Certain varieties of common bean are grown for their pods and seeds, which are cooked and eaten together when immature. Others, such as haricot bean, are grown for their seeds, which are usually dried and eaten when mature. Seeds of the various varieties of the common bean are highly variable in size, shape, and color.

Varieties – Many well-known bean varieties belong to this species (Kidney, Pinto, White, Yellow). Listed below are those included in ECHO Asia’s seed collection.

  • Green Bean
    • Khasi: Quick producing pole variety from northeast India that produces 12-cm (4.7 in.) long pods with dark brown seeds.
    • Naga speckled (pole type) (พันธุ์ถั่วแขกลาย): Similar looking to other varieties, but fruit is dark red and green color also smaller than other varieties. 


  • Cranberry Bean:
    • Bush (พันธุ์ภูฏานพุ่ม): Bushing characteristics, does not need a trellis. 
    • Mae Ai (พันธุ์ท้องถิ่นเลื้อย): Pole variety, the pod is a distinctive speckled-pink color. Shows good resistance to disease. Considered to have a creamy / nutty flavor. 

Plukenetia volubilis

General description and special characteristics – Inca nut is a woody vining perennial plant in the Euphorbiaceae family native to the high altitude rain forests of the Andes in South America. It has been grown for centuries for the large seed and seed oil, which is used in cooking. The seeds are oval, dark brown, and 1.5-2 cm (.5-.8 in) in diameter.

Variety – Lao