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Adenodolichos (Adenodolichos paniculatus)


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Common names 

Kpàrák [Birom]; kilikainawa [Fula-fulfulde]; dulluбe, kwaiwa, кwííwáá, кwííyáá, waken wuta, wáákén wuta [Hausa] (Burkill, 1985)


Dolichos paniculatus Hua, D. macrothyrsus Harms, Adenodolichos macrothyrsus (Harms) Harms

Related feed(s) 

Adenodolichos paniculatus (Hua) Hutch. is a perennial woody multi-purpose shrub or subshrub legume. It reaches 1.5 to 4.5 m (CJB, 2010; Burkill, 1985; Hutchison et al., 1958). The stems are flattened with a velvety red-brown colour when young, and smooth when mature (CJB, 2010). The leaves are foliate with 3-5 leaflets. The lower surface of leaflets is glandular. Axillary or terminal inflorescences bear papilionaceous flowers with a pinkish keel and a yellowish standard (Hutchison et al., 1958). Adenodolichos paniculatus leaves are used as fodder for ruminants and for edible caterpillars. The stems are used to make utensils. Roots and leaves have medicinal uses (Burkill, 1985).


Adenodolichos paniculatus is native to tropical Africa. It is found from Guinea to Northern Nigeria and across to Sudan. It is also found in Cameroon (Hutchison et al., 1958). It usually grows in wooded savannah or woodland. It grows between 900 and 1350 m altitude. It nodulates freely in its native range and responds positively to the application of P (Omokanye et al., 2001a).

Forage management 

In Nigeria, Adenodolichos paniculatus was reported to yield only 1.21 t DM/ha (vs. 3 t DM/ha for other legumes) with a lower yield at second harvest (Asare et al., 1984). A later study showed that it did not establish as quickly as other legumes during the first year but had the fastest and best regrowth during the second rainy season (Omokanye et al., 2001a).

Environmental impact 

Adenodolichos paniculatus springs up freely after burning the bush. Its name in Hausa (wáákén wuta or "fire bean") may stem from this ability (Burkill, 1985).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Young Adenodolichos paniculatus browse has a high crude protein content (18% DM), and a relatively low NDF content, but with a high proportion of ADF and lignin (12% DM), leading to a typically low in vitro DM digestibility (33%), similar to many other browse species (Bayer, 1990). Mature leaves are lower in crude protein (15%) and higher in crude fibre (38% DM). Their ether extract content is also low (Omokanye et al., 2001a). Seeds of the related species Adenodolichos punctatus are rich in the non-protein amino acids S-methylcysteine, p-aminophenylalanine and canavanine (Otoul et al., 1976).


The nutritive value and utilization of Adenodolichos paniculatus has been studied for sheep in Nigeria. During the dry season, mature Adenodolichos paniculatus is not frequently grazed by sheep even when it is readily available. Only soft young leaves are selected at this time (Asare et al., 1984). When compared to eight other browse species, Adenodolichos paniculatus was one of the most preferred species, either fresh or dried, by adult Yankasa sheep (Omokanye et al., 2001b). However, it was characterized by a very low short term intake rate (6 g DM/h per kg LW0.75), for both unchopped and chopped forage. In a further trial intake was further reduced by sun drying (10 vs. 2 g DM/h per kg LW0.75 for the fresh and sun-dried forage, respectively). Daily DM intake and short term intake rate increased when 30% of groundnut forage (Arachis hypogaea) was replaced by Adenodolichos paniculatus, although a lower in sacco DM degradation was observed (Dung et al., 2000).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Crude protein % DM 16.4   14.9 17.8 2  
Crude fibre % DM 37.9       1  
NDF % DM 44.8       1  
ADF % DM 33.5       1  
Lignin % DM 12.0       1  
Ether extract % DM 1.9       1  
Ash % DM 7.1   7.1 7.1 2  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 19.1         *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.9       1  
In vitro digestibility and solubility Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
DM digestibility, pepsin-cellulase % 32.8       1  
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 57.2         *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 54.5         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 10.4         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.2         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Bayer, 1990; Omokanye et al., 2001

Last updated on 12/04/2013 15:23:50

Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Delagarde R., 2022. Adenodolichos (Adenodolichos paniculatus). Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/568 Last updated on August 3, 2022, 13:15

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)
Image credits