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(Cyamopsis tetragonoloba, C. Psoralioides )

Other Names: Guvar, Gawaar, Cluster bean, Kotthavarai, Gokarakaya

Guar is a coarse, upright, bushy, drought-resistant summer annual, ranging from 1 to 3 m in height. It has pointed, saw-toothed, trifoliate leaves, small purplish flowers borne along the axis of a spikelet, and hairy pods 6-12 cm long in clusters. There are both dwarf and tall cultivars.Guar flowers are self-pollinating. A mature unopened bud starts out white and then changes to a light pink as petals begin to open and finally turning deep blue.

For use as a vegetable, pods must be picked when young, before they become hairy and woody. They are eaten most often as a French bean or as a curry vegetable. The seeds are used to make guar gum - an industrial thickener.

Guar vegetable contains high amounts of dietary fibre.

Guar is sensitive to cold, so should be grown during the warm season. Guar has an indeterminate growth habit, growing both vegetatively and setting pods from about 4-6 weeks following seedling emergence until death of the plant due to cold or annual decline. Guar is a short-day plant, setting more dense clusters in winter than in summer. Although the plant is reported to be fairly drought resistant, it grows even better when irrigated. Drought during the prolonged fruiting period reduces yields.

Guar is not particular to soil type but does best in rich soil with plenty of drainage.

From seed, a soil temperature of 20C is necessary for seed germination.

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