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Japanese Sword Beans

Posted by denninmi 6A SE Michigan (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 20, 10 at 16:03

Anyone grow these. Kitizawa seed company offers them. The seed looks like a super big Lima bean. I planted them last year, but they didn't ever produce in my "year without a summer" record cold.

I hope to do better this year.

Just wondered if anyone else had any experience with these?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Japanese Sword Beans

The sword bean (Canavalia gladiata) is a tropical plant, requiring a long season to mature seeds. You will probably have difficulty in Michigan. Grown in India and southeast Asia, where the tender shoots and pods are used as vegetables. The mature seed is toxic, unless properly prepared. The plant likes hot and humid conditions.


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RE: Japanese Sword Beans

You & I were in the same boat last year, Denninmi. While I didn't grow that cultivar, I grew a Korean sword bean sent to me by "Jwr" on this forum. I even grew mine in solar greenhouse all summer, in a very large pot - to no avail. The plant flowered fairly early (to my surprise, not particularly photo-period sensitive) and produced pods, but the pods would not ripen in the cool weather. I kind of wonder whether the seeds might have ripened in a normal summer.


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RE: Japanese Sword Beans

  • Posted by whgille Oakland, FL-Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 21, 10 at 13:29

I am growing now Akanata Mame sword bean from Kitazawa. I got 4 seeds in the packet.

I planted them with my other pole beans and were not germinating, as I was ready to contact the company, two of them sprouted.

I will let you know how they do here.

Photobucket

Silvia


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RE: Japanese Sword Beans

Whgille, why only 4 beans in the package? Are they huge, or rare? Good luck with them, hope you can reproduce the seed.

Zeedman, I wonder if the volcanic activity in Iceland will cause another cool summer. I did not get a single tomato or ripen a single Birds Egg 3 bean last year, because of the cool summer (and severe July hailstorm) I have 5 BE3 left and will try again, also I planted the wrinkled, immature BE3 that I did harvest, but am doubtful they will sprout at all.


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RE: Japanese Sword Beans

  • Posted by whgille Oakland, FL-Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 21, 10 at 17:23

Happyday,

I also thought it was odd to get only 4 beans. They are big, I don't know if they are rare.

As of today, only 2 have come up, while all my pole beans are already with beans, planted at the same time. I will save the seed if I get any producing.:)

Silvia


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RE: Japanese Sword Beans

"Zeedman, I wonder if the volcanic activity in Iceland will cause another cool summer."

That is my biggest fear right now, Happy. Without a large refrigerated storage (still working on that) I need to grow at least 75-80 vegetables for seed each year, to keep the collection viable. The last two years have been only partially successful, due to bad weather (and a groundhog). A third bad year could be devastating, especially for my soybeans.

"Bird Egg #3" is one of the beans scheduled for replenishment this year, so keep your fingers crossed. My beans did pretty well last year, in spite of the near-record cool weather, chiefly due to the liberal use of transplants. I'll be repeating that procedure again this year.

Also - to get back on topic - my attempt at sword bean last year was enlightening. While I failed to get seed, I was able to keep the plant alive for over a month past my last frost. For faster-ripening plants (such as yardlongs), this might be enough time to get seed from daylength-sensitive varieties.


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RE: Japanese Sword Beans

Happyday wrote: Whgille, why only 4 beans in the package? Are they huge, or rare?"

I can't comment about the rare part (although since Kitizawa is the only US source I've seen, probably not very common here -- who knows, could be a dime a dozen in Japan).

But, they are really big -- probably 1.5 x as large, at least, as a large seeded lima bean.

I ordered them on Sunday evening from Kitizawa, 2 packets each of the 2 varieties they sell. They came yesterday via Priority Mail. I'll open them tonight and see how many seeds are in each package.


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RE: Japanese Sword Beans

Just wanted to update -- each variety has 6 beans in each packet. One has reddish colored seeds, the other white.


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RE: Japanese Sword Beans

Curious... the white sounds more like the closely-related Jack Bean. Doesn't mean that it is, though. Could be some breeding of new varieties is going on in Asia & the Pacific Islands.

On just a side note, I just took another look at Kitazawa after re-reading this thread. They sure have increased their selection in recent years. Quite a few things not found elsewhere - such as two varieties of sword bean, and four hyacinth beans. Impressive. Given Evergreen's odd behavior recently, it's nice to know there is a "backup plan" for Asian vegetable seed.


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RE: Japanese Sword Beans

  • Posted by whgille Oakland, FL-Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 3, 10 at 19:21

Update on the sword beans:

The 4 seeds that I got all germinated at different times, 2 later than the other ones.

Here are the older two

Photobucket

Photobucket

Hope to eat some and save the seeds too.

Silvia


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RE: Japanese Sword Beans

Please can someone sell just a few sword bean seeds? I want to post them to my aunt in asia, thanks a million


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