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A showy climber with green and wine-colored foliage, fragrant lilac-rose flowers and shiny, magenta 2-3 inch pods. Blooms and pods can used for cutting. Twining growth to 10-20 feet tall. Perfect for trellises, arbors, walls or fences. Perennial in zones 9 and 10, it can be grown as an annual everywhere.
Dr. Allan Armitage talks about Hyacinth Bean Vine.
Sow seeds indoors, 4-6 weeks before the last frost, 2 seeds per container. Select the most purple seedlings and thin the rest. Transplant into the garden 12 inches apart. Can direct sow after all danger of frost, 4-6 seeds per foot. Thin to 12 inches apart.
Comments: Full sun, part shade in hottest climates. Any soil with good drainage. Tolerates drought, heavier bloom with regular water. Flashy, fragrant flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Pods follow, are as showy as flowers. Immature pods are cooked like green beans. Young leaves added to salads or prepared like spinach. Flowers eaten raw or steamed. Tuberous roots boiled and baked. Immature seeds boiled. Dried seeds contain toxic levels of cyanogenic glucosides. Fast growing.