United States Edition

Winged bean    

Psophocarpus tetragonolobus

Winged bean is part of the Psophocarpus genus and its scientific name is Psophocarpus tetragonolobus.

The plant produces pea-like beans with four winged edges. Almost every part of this unique plant is tasty and edible. The fresh young pods are similar to green beans with a chewy texture and a slightly sweet taste. When cooked, the leaves taste like spinach and the flowers like mushrooms. The firm-fleshed roots have a nutty flavor. This remarkable bean could become one of the most important crops for underdeveloped countries, because it offers a high source of protein.

Winged bean is a tropical plant and grows vigorously in warm climates. However, this plant does not produce beans well during the long day season, but will bear/produce lots of beans when a shorter day season arrives in late summer and fall. Therefore it is suggested to consider this day length situation in planning your planting/growing time for obtaining the best results.

Winged bean seed has hard coat skin that may decrease and delay the seed germination, because water can not get into inside of seed. In many cases, seeds may have relatively low germination rate, 50-60%, if planted without any special treatment. Soak seeds in water for 1-2 days, some seeds will swell when absorbing water and some seeds may not swell at all due to the hard coat skin. Plant these swollen seeds into moist soil for further germination process and collect these unaffected seeds for special treatment as described below. The germination problem for these unswelled seeds can be improved by scratching with sand paper or by breaking with a shape knife on the hard coat skin at the furthermost location from the seed eye. This pre-seeding teatment will allow moist/water to get into the inside to trigger the seed germination process. A high germination up to 90% can be obtained.

Source: Evergreen Seeds

Several growers say they prune the vines after about the 12th leaf appears. This causes the vines to send out as many as six side shoots, much like a grapevine, so you get a huge increase in pod production.

The mature pods can grow up to 22 cm long, though they taste better when picked small, no more than 15 cms long. Most commercially grown beans are harvested at 10-15 cms. When the pods become too ripe, they get stringy and tough, but the flip side is that the seeds inside can be eaten just like your regular garden variety shelling peas. The ripe (dry) seeds can be cooked like beans by first soaking them in water for an hour, then boiling for about 25 to 30 minutes. The tender shoots and white or pale blue flowers can be eaten raw, and add a lot of pizzazz to summer salads.

Source: Mother Earth

This variety typically blooms in the following colours:   Light Thulian pink and   Ghost white. This variety typically produces fruit in the following colours:   Green-yellow. It is a flowering edible vegetable / legume that typically grows as an annual/perennial, which is defined as a plant that can matures and completes its lifecycle over the course of one year or more. Winged bean is known for its mound-forming habit and growing to a height of approximately 3.00 metres (9.75 feet).

Typically, Winged bean is normally fairly low maintenance and can thus be quite easy to grow - only a basic level of care is required throughout the year to ensure it thrives. Being aware of the basic growing conditions this plant likes (soil, sun and water) will result in a strong and vibrant plant.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Winged bean have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Winged bean

  • Full Sun

  • High

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water often. Use Zone 8 - Zone 14 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Keep in mind when planting that Winged bean is thought of as tender, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.

Growing Winged bean from seed

Soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting.

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 3.9 inches (10.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.78 inches (2.0 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 21°C / 70°F to ensure good germination.

Transplanting Winged bean

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Winged bean is a tender plant.

Companion plants for Winged bean

These plants have been known to grow well alongside Winged bean so consider planting:

Repellent plants for Winged bean

These plants will not grow well with Winged bean so avoid planting these within close proximity:

Common Winged bean problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Winged bean plants:

Other names for Winged bean

Goa bean, Princess bean, Asparagus pea, Four-angled bean, Wingbeans, Asian Winged Beans[1]

Winged bean care instructions

How long does Winged bean take to grow?

These estimates for how long Winged bean takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!


Popular varieties of Winged bean

View the complete variety list for Winged bean »

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