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Growing Hyacinth Bean Vine (Lablab purpureus)

Mask a bad view, cover an unsightly fence or create a colorful vertical accent in the garden with hyacinth bean vine.

This vigorous vine has purple stems, violet colored sweet pea-like flowers and 3-inch purple pods that stand out against the green leaves.

Plant the seeds directly in the garden once the night temperatures stay above 50 degrees.  Or start them indoors 4 weeks before the last spring frost. Move transplants into the garden after night temperatures are consistently 50 degrees or warmer.

Grow hyacinth bean vine in full sun and train the vigorous twining stems to a tall sturdy support.

The uncooked mature dried seeds are toxic if eaten in large quantities and can cause weakness, vomiting, and convulsions. I leave the pods on the plant to dry and drop to the ground and am rewarded with seedlings the following year.

A bit more information:  According to North Carolina State Extension, the young immature pods can be cooked and eaten. You must thoroughly boil mature dried seeds and change the water several times before eating. I think I will stick with snap green beans and just enjoy hyacinth bean vine’s beauty.

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