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Bambara groundnut
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Phaseoleae
Genus: Vigna
Species: V. subterranea
Binomial name
Vigna subterranea
(L.) Verdc.
Bambara plants in the field.

The Bambara groundnut (or Bambarra groundnut) is a member of the family Fabaceae. According to some authors it is Voandzeia subterranea, but others place it in Vigna. The plant originated in West Africa. Still a traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known vegetable has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.[1]

Freshly harvested Bambara nuts.

The bambara groundnut ripens its pods underground, much as the peanut (also called a groundnut). They can be eaten fresh or boiled after drying.

The original local name for Bambara nut is cokon (Bamanankan). Bambara groundnuts are also known as jugo beans or in Swahili, njugumawe. In the Republic of Zambia, bambara groundnuts are known as either ntoyo (ciBemba),katoyo (kiKaonde), or mbwiila (chiTonga). In Shangaan they are known as tindluwa. In Malagasy they are known as "voanjobory." in Hausa language it is variously referred to as "Gurjiya" or "Kwaruru". In Goemai language of Plateau State of Northern Nigeria it is known as "Kwam".


  1. ^ National Research Council (2006-10-27). "Bambara Bean". Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II: Vegetables. Lost Crops of Africa. 2. National Academies Press. ISBN 978-0-309-10333-6. Retrieved 2008-07-15.  

In ciTonga in Zambia it is known as mbwila

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