Wild bushbean (Macroptilium lathyroides) is a pretty, but invasive, member of the pea family, Fabaceae. Also called phasey bean, this weedy plant of disturbed areas has been designated a Category #2 invasive exotic pest plant by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council.
The Tropical Research and Education Center, a UF/IFAS center located in Homestead, Florida, has found a powdery mildew fungus, Erysiphe fallax, for this first time in Florida growing on weedy wild bushbean. The fear is that this fungus could cause harm to the papaya (Papaya carica) industry. Check out their EurekAlert! to learn more.
This invasive exotic pea, with leaflets in threes, hosts other plant viruses about which you can learn more in a prior post about this weed, which should be removed from your yard or garden promptly.
When we visited the Ansin Tract Conservation Area on 4/6/2019, we saw a related plant, a dark, dark purple flowered vine called purple bushbean (Macroptilium atropurpureum).
This weedy and prolific vine of disturbed places likely also is a virus host. Though its flowers are a quite striking color, you may wish to remove it, as well as well as wild bushbean, from your yard to protect Florida’s tropical fruit industry.