Purple Hyacinth Beans

Categories: Plants, Seeds, and Vegetables.

Purple hyacinth beans or lablab purpureus.

This is an ornamental, annual vine that I grow for the lovely flowers and coloured beans.
Plants like full sun and will grow well on a south facing wall.  Soil should have good drainage.

purple hyacinth bean seed at craftygardener.ca

The interesting little seeds made me think of a mouth on a head with no eyes.  Plant seeds outside after all chance of frost has passed.  Or start inside about 4 to 6 weeks before planting outside.  Seeds will germinate in 10 to 15 days.

purple hyacinth bean vine at craftygardener.ca

About 7 days later the seeds were sprouting.

purple hyacinth bean vine at craftygardener.ca

And a few more days after that the true leaves were showing and they were almost ready to transplant.

purple hyacinth bean vine at craftygardener.ca

Some blooms started to appear on the ruby coloured vines.  I had originally had the ladder planter for them to grow up but quickly realized the vine would be too big.  So after carefully untwisting the vine a new piece of trellis was added to that corner.  The ladder planter was moved to a new location.

purple hyacinth bean vine at craftygardener.ca

The vines happily adapted to grow up the trellis right beside Tom.  This is a vigirous growing vine that can reach up to 6 or 7 meters (20 feet).  When flowering they are great for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies.

purple hyacinth bean vine at craftygardener.ca purple hyacinth bean vine at craftygardener.ca

         One plant can produce lots of seeds in purple seed pods.

purple hyacinth bean vine at craftygardener.ca

Be careful with the seeds as they can be toxic even though they are edible if cooked properly.   I don’t eat these beans but will pick some pods to gather seeds for next year.  The dark purple against the green leaves makes a great colour combination for the garden.  Wait as long as possible in the Fall to harvest the beans for the seeds. An indication the pod is ready to pick for seed saving is when the bean gets fatter inside. If the pod is flat it isn’t ready to pick.  I try to leave them on the vine as long as possible in the Fall so the seeds develop.

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