1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Entada

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ENTADA, in botany, a woody climber belonging to the family Leguminosae and common throughout the tropics. The best-known species is Entada scandens, the sword-bean, so called from its large woody pod, 2 to 4 ft. in length and 3 to 4 in. broad, which contains large flat hard polished chestnut-coloured seeds or “beans.” The seeds are often made into snuff-boxes or match-boxes, and a preparation from the kernel is used as a drug by the natives in India. The seeds will float for a long time in water, and are often thrown up on the north-western coasts of Europe, having been carried by the Gulf-stream from the West Indies; they retain their vitality, and under favourable conditions will germinate. Linnaeus records the germination of a seed on the coast of Norway.