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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Phaseoleae
Subtribus: Phaseolinae
Genus: Strophostyles
Species: S. helvola – S. leiosperma – S. umbellata

Strophostyles Elliott, 1823
Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mexico Northeast, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Introduced into:

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Primary references

Elliott, S. 1821–1824. A Sketch of the Botany of South-Carolina and Georgia Volume II. 743 pp., Charleston, SC: J.R. Schenck. BHL Reference page. : 2: 229


Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Strophostyles in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 23. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Strophostyles. Published online. Accessed: May 23 2021. 2021. Strophostyles. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 23.
Hassler, M. 2021. Strophostyles. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 23. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2021. World Plants. Synonymic Checklist and Distribution of the World Flora. . Strophostyles. Accessed: 23 May 2021.

Vernacular names
English: fuzzybean

Strophostyles is monophyletic three-species genus of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae.[3][4] Common names for the genus include wild bean and fuzzybean (due to their pubescent pods and seed coverings).[4][5] It consists of annual and perennial herbaceous vines, ranging in their native distribution from Nevada, east to Florida, and north to the Great Lakes and eastern Canada.[5] The etymology of the name is strophe (turning) + stylos (style), referring to the curve of the style within the keel petal.[6]

Distinctive traits

Strophostyles is the only genus within subtribe Phaseolinae (e.g., Phaseolus, Vigna, Lablab) with a native distribution center in the United States.[7] Like other Phaseolinae, the keel petal of its papilionoid flowers are curled inward to the right, although in Strophostyles and a few other genera only the very tip of the keel is coiled.[4]

Strophostyles typically inhabits sites near freshwater or saline reservoirs (e.g., ponds, ditches, coastal dunes, etc.), sand prairies, and ruderal sites.[4][8][9][10] The seeds are eaten by birds and rodents,[8] which may serve as a dispersal mechanism, though their distribution throughout ruderal, disturbed sites suggests unintentional human distribution as well.[4]


Strophostyles helvola has been used by Native North Americans for food and medicine. The Choctaw consumed boiled, mashed roots, and archaeological evidence suggests that their seeds were consumed as well, which are smaller but with a similar nutrition profile to Phaseolus vulgaris.[11][12] The Houma made a decoction of the seeds to treat typhoid,[13] and the Iroquois applied leaves to treat poison ivy rashes and warts.[14]


Recognized species are supported by:[3][4][8][9][10][15]

Strophostyles helvola (L.) Elliot (legitimate name;[16] but variously called S. helvula[17])
Strophostyles leiosperma (Torrey & A. Gray) Piper
Strophostyles umbellata (Muhl. ex Willd.) Britton

Species identification is still ambiguous due to similar morphological characters and potential interspecific hybridization.[4]


Delgado-Salinas A, Thulin M, Pasquet R, Weeden N, Lavin M (2011). "Vigna (Leguminosae) sensu lato: the names and identities of the American segregate genera". Am J Bot. 98 (10): 1694–715. doi:10.3732/ajb.1100069. PMID 21980163.
Riley-Hulting ET, Delgado-Salinas A, Lavin M (2004). "Phylogenetic Systematics of Strophostyles (Fabaceae): A North American Temperate Genus within a Neotropical Diversification". Syst Bot. 29 (3): 627–653. doi:10.1600/0363644041744464. JSTOR 25063997.
Delgado-Salinas, A.; Thulin, M.; Pasquet, R.; Weeden, N.; Lavin, M. (2011-10-01). "Vigna (Leguminosae) sensu lato: The names and identities of the American segregate genera". American Journal of Botany. 98 (10): 1694–1715. doi:10.3732/ajb.1100069. ISSN 1537-2197. PMID 21980163.
Riley-Hulting, Erin T.; Delgado-Salinas, Alfonso; Lavin, Matt (2004-07-01). "Phylogenetic Systematics of Strophostyles (Fabaceae): A North American Temperate Genus Within a Neotropical Diversification". Systematic Botany. 29 (3): 627–653. doi:10.1600/0363644041744464.
"Strophostyles". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
"Online Virtual Flora of Wisconsin - Strophostyles leiosperma". Retrieved 2018-09-22.
Pelotto, Juan Pablo; Del Pero Martinez, Maria A (1998). "Flavonoids in Strophostyles species and the related genus Dolichopsis (Phaseolinae, Fabaceae): Distribution and phylogenetic significance". SIDA, Contributions to Botany. 18 (1): 213–222. JSTOR 41967295.
L., Stubbendieck, James (1989). Common legumes of the Great Plains : an illustrated guide. Conard, Elverne C., 1909-, Jansen, Bellamy Parks. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 9780803242043. OCLC 18462927.
1918-, Isely, Duane (1998). Native and naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the United States : (exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii). Provo, Utah: Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University. ISBN 9780842523967. OCLC 40451484.
McGregor, Ronald L.; Barkley, Theodore Mitchell (1986). Flora of the Great Plains. Brooks, Ralph E., Schofield, Eileen K., McGregor, Ronald L., Barkley, T. M. (Theodore Mitchell), 1934-, Great Plains Flora Association (U.S.). Lawrence, Kansas. ISBN 978-0700602957. OCLC 13093762.
Bushnell Jr., David I. (1909). "The Choctaw of Bayou Lacomb, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana". SI-BAE Bulletin #48: 8.
"Strophostyles helvola (L.) Elliot | Laboratory Guide To Archaeological Plant Remains From Eastern North America". Retrieved 2018-03-24.
Speck, Frank G. (1941). "A List of Plant Curatives Obtained From the Houma Indians of Louisiana". Primitive Man. 14 (4): 49–75. doi:10.2307/3316460. JSTOR 3316460.
Herrick, James William (1977). Iroquois Medical Botany. State University of New York, Albany: PhD Thesis. p. 365.
1909-1988., Steyermark, Julian A. (Julian Alfred) (1999). Steyermark's Flora of Missouri. Yatskievych, George Alfred, 1957-, Missouri. Department of Conservation., Missouri Botanical Garden. (Rev. ed.). Jefferson City, Mo.: Missouri Dept. of Conservation in cooperation with Missouri Botanical Garden Press. ISBN 9780915279135. OCLC 40988742.
"Tropicos | Name - !Strophostyles helvola (L.) Elliott". Retrieved 2018-03-24.
Immel, D.L. (2001). "Plant Guide for Strophostyles helvula" (PDF). USDA, NRCS, National Plant Data Center, c/o Environmental Horticulture Department, University of California, Davis, California. Retrieved Feb 15, 2018.

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