This web site was produced for
undergraduate students of agriculture and economic botany. I had
in mind, students in countries immediately to the north of Australia
where I live. Hopefully it will stimulate others to continue the
quest for winged bean origins. It is a quest that has hardly begun.
With one exception, Georg
Everhard Rumpf, no names are mentioned in the main pages of
This is to make a point - the
'winged bean', like all the vegetables on our plate, is the end
product of a long chain of unheralded human endeavour, down the
centuries and across the continents, linking 'wild progenitor'
to 'domesticated crop'.
Many people have contributed
to the study of winged bean origins.
I acknowledge a particular indebtedness to the investigations
of Dr Daniel Harder of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and to
Professor Joseph Smartt and his former students at the University
of Southampton. Their works and those of others in the field have
been cited in the bibliography at the end of the source
paper written for this site. In addition, a few of the key
references have been singled out, in the Sources
The organisation of this site was modeled on
the influential paper by Harlan J. R. and de Wet J. M. J. 1973.
(" On the quality of evidence for origin and dispersal of
cultivated plants." Current Anthropology 14: 51-6), in which
they listed some of the key disciplines that must be integrated
in the study of crop evolution. One of the inheritors of their
influence is the University of California's Dr Paul Gepts. His
web site can be visited at:
Other useful websites are listed in the SourcesTitle
A good general reference for winged bean is:
N.A.S. 1975. The Winged Bean. A High Protein
Crop for the Tropics, National Academy of Sciences, Washington,
I was drawn to the winged bean
- as an object of beauty, utility and fascination - when it was
given to me as subject for a Ph.D. program at the University of
Western Australia, by Professor Walter Stern. It has held sway
over my attentions, ever since.
For whatever it may be worth,
I dedicate this site to my former supervisors, Dr Tanveer Khan
and the late Dr Noel Thurling, and to my wife and daughter, Chai
Nyet Fah and Kylie Eagleton.
I hope it is a thing of enjoyment.