Makahiya, Legume that is both Friend and Foe

When I was still in elementary I had this fascination of the Makahiya. It’s usually treated as a weed as it grows almost everywhere. The remarkable trait of this weed is that when you touch its leaves during the day time it abruptly folds or closes. Thus it is called the Makahiya, or in plan simple english “The Shy One”.

Makahiya
Makahiya

Usually it’s a foe because it grows where you do not want it to grow. It also have torns that really hurts. I remember a farmer telling me that he was happy to have boots because the makahiya could no longer hurt him.

Closed Makahiya
Closed Makahiya

Contratry to popular belief, the Makahiya is actually a legume. Therefore it could get nitrogen from the air and process it to be put to a node in its root, further improving the quality of the soil.

If you would ask me whether it’s a friend (legume) or a foe (torny weed), I would choose it as a foe. I would rather culture the monggo or peanuts, both legumes, to improve my soil.

Makahiya
Makahiya

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