[ MODAMA or Matchbox Bean ]
(Botanical Name: Entada Phaseoloides)
* Do you know of a woody liana called MODAMA or Matchbox Bean?
* It belongs to the pea family and the diameter of its trunk can reach 30 cm. The legumes (seed pods) that are seen in late fall are also gigantic. They are 80 to 100 cm long and 10 to 15 cm wide. They contain 9 to 13 inedible seeds. MODAMA vines climb up big trees, extending their branches upwards and sideways. Pods usually hang at an unreachable height and distance, so would-be pickers are easily discouraged.
* The northernmost area of MODAMA distribution is said to be Yakushima Island. According to a field guide to southern Japanese flora, hollow MODAMA seeds are carried on the ocean current from the south and grow on the forest fringe near the seashore. But the MODAMA colony in Amami is restricted to the foot of Santaro Hill near Higashinakama, Sumiyo-town. If you go up the pass toward the hilltop about 300 meters from Higashinakama, you will get to the MODAMAhabitat, which is pretty far from the seacoast. MODAMA is quite a rare species, at least in Amami, so it should be protected.
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