A diverse group of many relatives of the common bean, they are to be grown like the common bean except as noted. Many grow much better than common beans in warm weather, also most tend to be more disease resistant.
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HYACINTH BEAN "MOONSHADOW"
Jicama or Yam Bean
(Pachyrhizus erosus) 120 days. Long vines can grow 20 feet long and produce delicious tubers. These have become very popular in the last few years. They require a very long season and must be started very early in all areas except the deep South. Caution: The seeds and pods are poisonous! Only use the tasty roots.
Kabouli Black Garbanzo Bean
An improvement on an ancient garbanzo bean variety from Afghanistan. Its tolerance to cooler soil temperatures makes it perfect for early spring planting. Beautiful bi-colored purple-pink flowers cover 2-foot tall plants. The very reliable, medium- productive plants will yield more if you pick often to encourage new blooms.
Urizun Japanese Winged Bean
An early maturing and supremely delicious winged bean from Japan. This highly adaptable winged bean variety is not day length sensitive, making it an excellent choice for a wide range of growing areas. Winged beans are native to equatorial Asia. Baker Creek’s founder, Jere Gettle, first encountered winged beans on a trip to Thailand. Being a tropical crop from the equator, the winged bean typically takes a long season to flower, only setting pods just before frost in our Missouri climate. For years Jere searched for a winged bean variety that would bear pods earlier in order to enjoy a longer harvest season. Urizun is just the variety he had been searching for; this variety will begin to produce pods in August and heavy production continues until frost. This heat-loving vegetable is especially popular on the island of Okinawa, Japan, where it takes center stage during the warm summer months. Vines are lush and tropical looking, with large, lavender flowers and unique pods. The vines will readily climb a trellis or fence, making this an exotic edible ornamental. Traditionally blanched and stir fried with ume (pickled Japanese plum), we love to toss them into the wok with just about anything; they are also great in soups or steamed. Sliced beans resemble little stars and are a fun way to introduce kids to this nutritious vegetable.