Here is my Madagascan Bean plant or some call it "Bean Madagascar". Apparently, this climbing bean originated in Peru cultivated by humans over 8000 years ago!
It's a perennial and lives for about 3-4 years and grows fast getting to a height of around 4 metres and width of 2-3 m. The vine itself is attractive but the tiny white flowers are hardly noticeable amongst the foliage. After flowering, large flat pods form (not edible) similar shape to snap pea and inside usually forms 3 large speckled maroon and white beans. Beans are about the size of a 10 cent coin (AU).
The plant prefers a subtropical climate but I reckon will grow in most climates with the right care and positioning.
The first seasons pod formation might be a little scarce but subsequent seasons the plant should produce an abundance of pods.
Being a large strong climber it will need a good sturdy trellis (especially if you have more than one plant).
You don't tend to see the seed commonly sold at standard retailers, I got my seed from Green Harvest (online in Australia) but you can buy them on eBay also - I buy lots of my rare seeds from eBay.
Sowing and growing
Needs warm weather to germinate (25 Celsius or more). Best sown in late spring or summer in most places.
Sow directly where it is to grow and space at least 1 metre apart. Soaking seeds in warm water can aid in germination (I don't bother). Usually, 1 or 2 plants are plenty for most families but if you are wanting to dehydrate and store then perhaps grow several.
You can sow in containers if you like either way bury the seed about 2-4 cm deep because the seed is large and to avoid rats digging them up and eating the beans.
Soil - Will grow in most soils.
Sun - Full sun is best.
Water - Needs regular water (it's used to high rainfall).
Harvest - from planting is about 2-5 months.
If harvested young the beans are white and can be used similar to broad beans.
I like to dry them and store in the pantry to use in soups, stews, or salads.
To use in a salad, boil the beans until they are soft through but not mushy (5-10 mins). On their own, after cooling, place beans in a small salad bowl and add olive oil, a splash of white wine vinegar, sprinkle of salt and generous dash of black pepper - this simple bean salad is a favourite in our family.
Conventionally, people add the beans to a salad with many other ingredients and different dressings.
Nutrition wise Madagascan beans are high in iron, low in fat, high in dietary fibre, good calcium, and are great for weight loss.
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Madgascan Bean (bean Madagascar)
- Easy to Grow?:
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