Mungbean is familiar to many because of its use for bean sprouts common in salad bars across the country. Yet few have seen the crop growing or know where it is produced. This warm season legume is a native of India and is still grown on a large acreage there. Often called green gram or golden gram, it is also cultivated in several countries of Asia, Africa, and South America.
Mungbean plants look more like a garden bean than a soybean plant, being about 24 to 30 inches tall, and having a moderate number or branches with smaller leaves than soybeans. Pods are 3 to 4 inches long, each having 10 to 15 seeds. There are several pods clustered at a leaf axil, with typically 30 to 40 pods per plant. The pods turn darker in color as they mature.
Planted in early June, the crop will begin to flower in 50 to 60 days, and then continue flowering for a few weeks. The crop is usually ready to be harvested in early to mid-September. Leaves will dry down but may not drop off completely.
Mungbean is fairly well adapted to sandy loam soils and dry conditions