Mystery magic bean plant

dimension70July 10, 2007

I was given a magic bean can by a friend. The bean is a dark pink color and very big, around 1 inch. The plant produces really pretty light pink flowers that are large and slightly (and pleasantly) fragrant. The outstanding feature of this plant is the size of the bean pods. They are over a foot long, thick and about 2 inches wide. They are definitely not asparagus beans. The pods are much thicker and wider than that. I'm sure they could be used for a weapon! The pods are green. I have searched the web over trying to figure out what kind of plant this is. It's a vining plant and has large leaves. The beans pictured on all of the magic bean websites do not look like what I have.

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RuthieG__TX(z8 TX)

Is it a bush or shrubbie type plant or a bean climbing type plant...the first thing that comes to my mind by your description is that of a mimosa plant/tree...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 7:50AM
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Possibilties include Sword bean (Canavalia gladiata), Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) and Hyacinth Bean (Dolichos lablab)My first guess would be sword bean

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 8:31AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I agree with Farmerdilla; the most likely prospect is the sword bean, which is red-seeded. You can confirm this by looking at the hilum of the seed - it would be unusually long for a bean, 1/4 to 1/3 of the circumference.

There have been several inquiries about beans matching this description this year, most from warm long-season parts of the country - which is a requirement to get seed from sword bean. "Dimension", I am assuming that you live in such a climate.

Be aware that the seeds are poisonous. They are eaten in some cultures (usually immature), but without knowing the proper means of preparation, I would not recommend doing so. The best use of this bean is as an ornamental conversation piece.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 5:00PM
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