What is this bean?

leslie5684March 2, 2014

Can anybody help me identify this bean? I found a few plants growing as a "hedge" but the homeowner was not around.

This post was edited by Leslie5684 on Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 11:17

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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

No picture :(.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:19PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

It's really hard to tell from the picture there are so many beans that look similar. Are the pods smooth to the touch or do they have a slightly rough look and feel to them, if this is the case they be one of the runners (coccineus).

Annette

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:43AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

That pod looks pretty big. If the plants were growing "as a hedge", my first suspicion would be favas. If the plants are vines in a warmer climate, there are other possibilities. Knowing your geographical location, Leslie, would help to narrow it down. A closeup photo of the seeds - especially the hilum, where the seed attaches - would be helpful too.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:34PM
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leslie5684

Thanks to both Zeedman and Annette!!

I am in Costa Rica but this is quite clearly not a tropical plant, although beans are a staple die here (rice and beans)

Fava might be an obvious choice, but the beans would be almost square and a lot bigger. The pods are also "hairy"

This pod is smooth and between 9 and 10 inches long!

The plant is not a runner or vine.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 10:05PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Leslie, thank you for the photo & your location, it helps. I'm fairly certain that what you have is Jack Bean (Canavalia ensiformis), a bean which grows in tropical & sub-tropical regions. I have linked to a photo of the seed below, but a web search will show you flowers & pods as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jack bean

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 11:02PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Researching this further, Jack Bean is indigenous to Central America, and the USDA has accessions collected in Costa Rica... so it would not be unusual to find it there.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 11:12PM
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leslie5684

Thanks so much for all the help. I have just returned from the site where I found the bean and I believe that you are quite right as to the variety.

I finally forund the owner of the land where the bean was growing and he told me that he planted the bean as a "wind-break".

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 12:53AM
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