Marļap (Canavalia sp. - Fabaceae)

Description: Canavalia cathartica, C. sericea, and C. rosea are three closely related native vine species found in the Marshall Islands. Canavalia rosea is the species referred to here as marļap. These plants belong to the bean family (Fabaceae). They are native, prostrate or weakly climbing vines. Each "true" leaf of marļap has three parts (trifoliate); each of these parts (leaflet) is elliptical or roundish and 5-15 cm (2-6 in) long. It produces attractive pink to purple flowers 15-25 mm (.5-1 in) long.

Distribution: Marļap is found throughout the tropical Pacific growing on or near the ground in the vegetation of sandy beaches and rocky shores.

Uses: Marļap has decorative and medicinal uses.

Main Plants


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