Moth | Phaseolus aconitifolius

Vigna aconitifolia is a drought-resistant legume, commonly grown in arid and semi-arid regions of India. It is commonly called mat bean, moth bean, matki, Turkish gram or dew bean. The pods, sprouts and protein rich seeds of this crop are commonly consumed in India. Moth bean can be grown


Local name: Moth

Moth is a creeping annual which can be used as a green manure and as a fodder. It forms excellent hay. It is sown in the kharif season by broadcasting. The yield is about 250 quintals per hectare.

Moth bean, a short-day crop, is one of the most drought resistant pulses in India. Grown at altitudes up to 1300m above sea level, it has a wide pH range (3.5–10) and can tolerate slight salinity. While dry sandy soil is most suitable for production, moth bean can tolerate a variety of soil types. The low lying soil cover the crop creates helps prevent soil erosion by preventing moisture loss.

Phaseolus aconitifolius

Optimum production of moth bean occurs between 24–32 °C, but has been shown to tolerate up to 45 °C during the day. Growth is optimal at a constant temperature. The moth bean is one of the most drought resistant pulse in India, requiring little irrigation for production. While optimal annual rainfall for production is 500–750 mm, it is able to grow with 200–300 mm annually, and some yield has been noted at rainfall levels as low as 50–60 mm per year. Propagation of moth bean is done by seed, preferably on a prepared seedbed, at an optimal temperature of 25–27 °C. Fertilizer applications to moth bean are uncommon in India.