Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hyacinth Bean Vines

Care to plant a very fast growing, annual vine that is not invasive? How about one that makes nice purple flowers followed by deep purple decorative pods? Look no further than the hyacinth bean, or the Dolichos lablab as it is referred to by horticulturalists. I planted these in four different places in my yard a few weeks ago and they are all coming up well. My intentions are for it to cover some unsightly areas of my fence and a column on my front patio. It's an old time plant that will cover a nice area in just one summer of growth. Virtually every part of this plant is edible, though you need to take special precautions when cooking the dried beans. However, it is mostly grown as an ornamental in the US. Plant it in poor soil because it is known as a nitrogen fixer just like alfalfa and clover and will enrich the soil for other plants next year. It's also very easy to save seeds for next year off of this wonderful vine. By the way, it is perennial in frost free areas, but will not come back except from seeds in any area that gets frost. Use it as a substitute for morning glories if you want something that is far less invasive and won't keep coming back for years.

I've added to this post a picture of a mature plant off the Floridata web site.

7 comments:

Dirt Princess said...

Hmmm...I don't know that I have ever seen that. Can't wait til it blooms and you can share some photos

Davy Barr said...

If you want to see more information on this, go to Floridata.com and check their info. They have some nice pictures too. Another option is to go to Google and do an image search for hyacinth bean to see plenty of pictures.

Dirt Princess said...

I love Floridata...they have everything you need to know

Ginger said...

I've been thinking of trying this annual vine. Thanks for the information - especially about it being a nitrogern-fixer!

Rose Sad Beauty said...

what precautions do you need when you cook the beans? you were not specific about this. I am looking forwards to see how this plant develops in the future too. I am sure it will bloom very nicely! Every day you post something very interesting. Under your influence I started a blog myself! But I do not write such detailed information about the plants as I do not know so much about them. My blog is mostly pictures and feelings.

Davy Barr said...

If you want more information on cooking precautions, you will have to search for it on the internet. I'm not very informed on this and would not want to give bad advice. I've just read that the dry beans need to be specially prepared before eating.

Rose sweet and lovely said...

Thanks, Davy, looking forward to your next installment with great interest. I hope the work in the Mexico Gulf won't be an obstacle for you to post. Thanks again.