Tobi-kazura is widely distributed to Western China and grows naturally.   It is thought that in Japan, only one individual grows naturally at Aira (Kikuka-machi Yamaga-shi Kumamoto-ken).   However, in September 2000, it was found to grow naturally on an uninhabited island which is called Tkoi-jima (Saseho-shi Nagasaki-ken).   Therefore, existence of two individuals is confirmed in Japan.
  Tobikazura at Aira also known as Aira-tobi-kazura, was designated as a protected individual in 1940, and designated as a protected special individual in 1952.   This plant is estimated to be more than 1000 years old.   Dozens of small and thick vines twist around each other and tangle with bamboos and other trees.   The vine is more than ten centimeters in diameter.
  There is a legend which is that in old time, when Aira temple was burned during The Genpei War (1180-1185), the thousand-armed Kannon jumped to this vine to survive.   It is said that the Japanese name, Tobi-kazura ,meaning jumped vine, is named after this legend.
  Tobi-kazura in Higashiyama Botanical Garden is not from the individual at Aira but is introduced from China.   Therefore, it was previously known as Aira-tobi-kazura but it is now known as Tobi-kazura for that reason.
  Tobi-kazura has alternate leaves which are ternately* compound leaves.   The leaflet is deep green, lustrous, egg-shaped elliptic, seven to fifteen centimeters in length, and four to eight centimeters in width.
  The flower is a cauliflory**.   The thick stem extends flower stems where dozens of flowers in cluster bloom from the end of April to the beginning of May.   The flower is purple and has a good scent.   Its shape is unique and its length is about seven centimeters.   It has calyx with dense sharp hairs.
  The legume grows from 50 to 60cm in length.   Same as the calyx, it has sharp hairs which prick when touched.
  Tobi-kazura is an evergreen climbing plant.  However, it grows quickly to expand from five to seven meters a year.   Therefore, it is attempted to use for wall greening and rooftop gardening.

*  ternate: with three nearly equal divisions
** Flower or fruit grow directly from the branches or trunk.
Classification: Fabaceae (Leguminosae) Mucuna
Scientific name: Mucuna sempervirens Hemsl.
Japanese name: Tobi-kazura
English Name: ---
Native locality: Yangzi River Valley, China
Ecological description: Evergreen climbing plant
RDB : ---
Planting place: Chinese Plant Garden
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