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A creeping annual legume, widely appreciated and cultivated in its native area, in Western Africa, where it grows in poor soils and tolerates drought conditions while producing reasonable yields. It keeps its fruit pods in the soil, protecting the edible seeds from animals and fire damage. The seeds vary in color from white to pink, red, purple and black and they are not just very tasty but also very nutritious, with a high carbohydrate and protein content. They can be eaten fresh or prepared in various ways- boiled, roasted, fried, ground into flour and made into porridge, etc. The leaves are popular animal feed. Although Vigna subterranea is occasionally cultivated in tropical areas outside its natural range, it remains an underutilized crop.