Ahipa

P. ahipa is member of the Fabaceae and predominantly self-pollinating. The Andean bean is a perennial plant and can grow in erect, semierect or twining forms. The erect species can grow to 15–40 cm tall, the semierect one about 30–60 cm, and the twining forms 60–200 cm long. These plants are herbaceous and lignified depending on the genotype. They do not show a lateral axis. The leaves are trifoliate with stipules or pinnately arranged leaflets with caduceus stipels.

The flowers, which grow on short stalks, are white blossoms or of a pale lavender colour. They show a tubular calyx and a papilionaceous corolla. Generally, the flowers exhibit an internally curved stigma in close contact with the anthers. This habitus is very unfavourable in connection with the pollination behaviour of insects, as they are not able to pollinate the flowers very effectively. Additionally, the pollen fertility is often not very high. It varies between 45 and 100%. The flowering pattern is not consistent. Each season, 100 – 800 flowers per plant can be produced. P. ahipa is a short-day plant, so flowering takes place under decreasing day length. The pods are 13–17 cm long and up to 16 mm wide. The seeds are black, lilac, maroon, or black and white mottled. They are round, kidney-shaped, and about 0.8–1 cm long. Seed production differs from plant to plant and lies between 20 and 100 per plant. The thousand grain weight is around 300 g.

Every plant shows a single swollen root, which thins out toward both ends. The roots are about 15 cm long and usually weight about 500-800 g. The yellow skin of the root encloses a white pulp, which is interwoven with a soft fiber. (Source: Wikipedia)

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