Spaghetti beans: Anyone know anything about these?

ladyshivaMarch 29, 2007

All we know is that they are apparantly near extinction and

have been saved since 1991 by one man in Mn.

I have searched the internet and can find nothing, any help would be greatly appreciated.


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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

They were offered for many years by a Canadian seed company, whose name now escapes me. I tried to obtain seed from them in the 90's, but they would not ship to the U.S. The company told me that they were opening a U.S. subsidiary in Minnesota, but I never followed up on it.

The description of the bean that I have read leads me to believe that it is not a true bean, but a black-seeded yardlong bean very similar (if not identical) to "Liana".

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 1:26AM
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Thank you zeedman. So what can you tell me about Liana then, can I research that one as a bean?
I'll be growing it out at any rate and will learn more about it then. Will be happy to spread them around once
we get some more seed from it.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 9:03AM
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So I went and researched the Liana, that is one gorgeous plant. So my next question is, what's the best way to
test germination?
Any other suggestions to improve chances of success?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 10:10AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"So I went and researched the Liana, that is one gorgeous plant."

I hope that you were looking at the pole bean, not the rampant tropical vine that it is named after.

Ladyshiva, I take it that you have already obtained seed. In the Seed Savers Exchange yearbook (where SSE members exchange seeds) I see two people from Minnesota offering it, so chances are that one of them is your source. Is the seed small, black, and elongated? If so, then it is most likely a yardlong bean, as I suspect. If not, I would be very interested in learning more about it, and perhaps growing it myself.

Yardlongs are cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata) that have been bred for their tender immature pods, much as some common beans were bred for use as green beans. Most of them are climbing vines. They are a warm-weather crop... but that should present no problem for you, since you are in a warm climate. "Liana", a black-seeded, green-podded variety, is probably the most common yardlong. There are white, red, and brown-seeded yardlongs as well, although they are not as common in this country.

Due to my short seasons, I need to start my yardlongs indoors to be successful. While you could also do that, there should be no need. Just plant them directly where they will be grown, once the soil has fully warmed. Give them plenty of space (thin to about 12" apart) and provide a tall trellis or poles, preferably at least 6 feet tall.

Germination testing requires at least 10 seeds to give meaningful results, and more than that to be accurate. If your seed is limited, that would be a waste. If you doubt the viability of the seed, it might be better to perform your germination test in small pots, close to planting time. That way, if the seed grows, you could transplant the seedlings, with no seed wasted.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 5:38PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

This is a photo of a yardlong that I grow which is very similar to "Liana".

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 2:28PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

That's the first time I've had to scroll down to look at a bean. They are long!

Very nice photo, Z.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 4:09PM
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The picture I saw was similar, however the bean pods were green. I do think it is a beautiful plant. I have not received the seeds yet (should get here this week), but have been reading through previous posts and learning all I can.
I'm wondering how to tell if this is indeed the same as the yardlongs that appear to be widely available, or something different.
Our source listed it as "Spaghetti bean".
Lovely plant zeedman, thank you for the photo.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 9:35AM
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Yes! Love these! My FIL brought them back from Italy (he is from there) we boil them with the speghetti or linguini noodles from fresh and then just toss with olive oil, fresh minced garlic and seasoning. They are a bit shorter and green so not like the picture. I haven't found seeds like them since and have been looking for years. They are small light colored elongated seeds. The closest were the Chinese variety but they don't taste or cook up the same. Since you already order the seeds, From where exactly?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 10:28PM
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