Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
What an outstanding ornamental vine for heat! Hyacinth bean is a long, vigorous, twining vine with brilliant purple stems, greenish purple trifoliate (three-parted) leaves and clusters of rosy purple, pea-like flowers. It will bloom from summer to fall, as long as temperatures stay warm, and is very drought tolerant. Where native in Sub-Saharan Africa, it survives as a short-lived perennial but most gardeners grow it as an annual.
In just a single season, hyacinth bean can grow up to 20 feet (6 meters). Its long, twining stems become lined with exotic, three-parted leaves of dark purple-green. Showy blooms appear by midsummer and will continue into fall. The pea-like blooms are borne in elongated clusters and are typically rosy purple, though white cultivars are also available. Once pollinated by bees, flattened, magenta-purple bean pods with a velvety texture appear. These are very beautiful until they dry to brown. The seeds inside are black, and must be boiled to remove toxins before consumption, so it is not advisable to eat them.
Grow hyacinth bean in full, hot sun and average garden soil that's well-drained with average moisture. Established specimens will tolerate considerable drought. If its vigorous stems begin to overtake an area, they can be pruned back to maintain manageability. Plant as a screening vine for fences or trellises. The pretty cultivar, 'Ruby Moon', is a choice selection with particularly vibrant violet-purple foliage, stems, flowers and fruit.
Plants tend to self-sow. In fact, hyacinth bean is known to be invasive in tropical and subtropical parts of the world, including southern Florida and Hawaii.
12 - 9
9 - 15
A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
6'-30' / 1.8m - 9.1m
Eastern Africa, Middle Africa
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
White, Purple, Rose, Violet
Purple, Magenta, Black
Purple, Dark Green
Container, Mixed Border, Tropical, Vine
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