Worms and Flowers

Hyacinth Bean Lablab

Posted in History, Seeds by Lzyjo on December 24, 2008

This has got to be the coolest plant. And I’m not the only one who thinks so, Thomas Jefferson grow this ornamental and edible vine on a black locust arbor, next to his 1,000′ vegetable garden, in the early 1800s.


I purchased the seeds from Onalee Seeds. I’m really happy with the stuff I got from her. She may charge more than other people, but they are fresh and she stands behind the products. It says all over that she will replace the seeds if they do not germinate. I don’t know of any other seller who guarantees germination. I got a mixture of Lablab purpureus and Lablab purpurpeus Alba. I am assuming that the darker seeds are purple and the lighter ones are white. They’re really cute looking, like tiny clams with the foot sticking out. The seeds packet states it can bloom in just 50-80 days, that’s fast. I think this plant and I have a great future. I have a feeling they will love the hot and humid weather. The beans seem to be more popular as an ornamental, here in the U.S., although both the foliage and beans are eaten in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Tropics. The seeds pod can be poisonous if eaten raw and in large quantities, due to the presence of cyanogenic glocosides. I have seen the flavor described as something between a bean and mushroom. The seeds had a peculiar smell after soaking, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I planted the seeds yesterday, after soaking. I can’t wait to see these wonderful exotic vines covering the front porch.

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