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Lablab (also known as the hyacinth bean in English-speaking countries and dolich in French-speaking countries) is an African species. Its wild relatives can be found in the arid regions of Namibia and other southern and eastern African countries. Lablab is much better known in wet tropical regions than in dry regions like the Sahel, even though it is considered to be a drought tolerant species. Some claim that it is even more drought tolerant than cowpea. Lablab is tolerant to a wide range of soil pH, ranging from 4.5 to 7.5. It can grow in sandy soils and in fine-textured, well drained soils. Lablab responds to improved soil fertility (using manure or fertilizers), but in most cases farmers do not use manure or fertilizers on lablab.

The deep and prolific root system of lablab (in both sandy and clay soils) gives it a major advantage in the semi-arid tropics. The roots can exploit soil moisture to a depth of 2.0 meters and allow lablab to complete a full life cycle without irrigation.


  1. 2013-01-20 About 98% of agricultural production in the Sudano Sahelian region of West and Central Africa is based on rainfed crops. With a mean annual rainfall of 300 to 800 mm/year, the number of staple crops is very limited. It includes two grain crops: pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) for sandy soils...
  2. Lablab Bean is capable of growing in a wide range of climatic conditions and soil types, depending upon the variety chosen. It is widely cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics and occurs wild in tropical Africa (including Madagascar) and India. The palatability of lablab surpasses that...
  3. 2013-04-20 The article by Dov Pasternak about lablab (in this issue) reminded me of material in ECHO’s files from many years ago. Reimar von Schaaffhausen, working in São Paulo, Brazil, sent articles and letters over the years about the valuable role that lablab (and pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan]) have played...
  4. Experimental Agriculture Croft, M., Bicksler, A., Manson, J., & Burnette, R. (2013). COMPARISON OF APPROPRIATE TROPICAL SEED STORAGE TECHNIQUES FOR GERMPLASM CONSERVATION IN MOUNTAINOUS SUB-TROPICAL CLIMATES WITH RESOURCE CONSTRAINTS. Experimental Agriculture, 49(02), 279-294. Summary...
  5. Agronomy for Sustainable Development Brian Lawrence, Abram Bicksler, Kimberly Duncan Abstract : Prevention of pests while maintaining viable seed during storage is often challenging for smallholder farmers in the tropics and subtropics. Investment in costly technologies or storage equipment is...
  6. 2017-02-08 Dolichos lablab is an under estimated crop which recently is finding its niche Presenter :Wilfred L Mariki is a retired Principal Agricultural Research Officer, from Selian Agricultural Research Institute who pioneered a country program to introduce CA in Tanzania 1999 – 2011, under FAO-UN. He...
  7. 2011-07-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #10 Introduction During the late rainy season, the permanent hill fields that surround a cluster of hilltribe villages in the Chiang Dao district of northern Thailand radiate various hues of green. These verdant fields, belonging to ethnic Lisu, Lahu, Akha,...