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Cluster bean

Cyamopsis tetragonoloba

Guar or cluster bean, is an annual legume and the source of guar gum. Guar as a plant has a multitude of different functions for human and animal nutrition but its gelling-agent-containing seeds (guar gum) are today the most important use. Demand is rising rapidly due to industrial use of guar gum in hydraulic fracturing (oil shale gas). About 80% of world production occurs in India and Pakistan, but due to strong demand, the plant is being introduced into new areas.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn, Winter

Harvesting

Beans are ready for harvesting 60 to 90 days after planting, harvest the green pods by cutting or twisting. Continue to harvest over a period of time as the pods don't all ripen at once but rather as the plant continues to grow.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in situ in late winter/early spring or in summer. Water right after sowing and again in 7 to 10 days.

Special features

Crop rotation
Nitrogen fixing plant adding nutrients for future crops.

Geography

Origin
Unknown, but probably Asia.
Natural climate
Temperate and coastal

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
The green pods and seeds are a good source of fiber, improve blood circulation and are good for heart health.
Edible
The green pods and seeds are eaten. Good source of fiber, improve blood circulation and are good for heart health.

Personality

Family
Fabaceae
Flower colour
White to blue
Scent
None

Problems

Susceptible to leaf hopper, pod borer and ash weevils, can be controlled with organic insecticides. Prone to leaf spot and powdery mildew, maintain good airflow between plants to lessen the problem.
Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew
Erysiphaceae

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