is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses.

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The final characteristics of a soybean plant are variable, with factors such as genetics, soil quality, and climate affecting its form; however, fully mature soybean plants are generally between 51–127 cm (20–50 in) in height Soybeans form inconspicuous, self-fertile flowers which are borne in the axil of the leaf and are white, pink or purple.

Depending of the soybean variety, node growth may cease once flowering begins.

Under ideal conditions, stem growth continues, producing new nodes every four days.

Before flowering, roots can grow 1.9 cm (0.75 in) per day.

Raw soybeans, including the immature green form, are toxic to all monogastric animals.

Most soy protein is a relatively heat-stable storage protein.The remainder consists of 30% carbohydrates, 9% water and 5% ash (table).Soybeans comprise approximately 8% seed coat or hull, 90% cotyledons and 2% hypocotyl axis or germ.High contents also exist for vitamin K, magnesium, zinc and potassium (table).For human consumption, soybeans must be cooked with "wet" heat to destroy the trypsin inhibitors (serine protease inhibitors).In 100 grams, raw soybeans supply 446 calories and are 9% water, 30% carbohydrates, 20% total fat and 36% protein (table).