Winged Bean Psophocarpus tetragonolobus
How to sow winged bean: Direct seed outdoors 10-15cm apart after last frost
Sun requirement for winged bean: Plant in Full Sun
Winged Bean has been planted 2 times by Growstuff members.
The Winged, Goa, or Dragon Bean is a tropical bean species native to New Guinea. Winged Bean is a perennial plant that is often grown as an annual. All parts of the plant are edible and it is quite disease resistant. Plants are taller and larger than the common bean, with bean pods 15-22cm long. Bean pods have frilly wings and slightly translucent skin that can be cream, green, pink, or purple. They are brown when fully ripe and pop open to release the seeds. Winged Bean has large, light blue flowers, tuberous roots, and green or purple stems. It needs to be trellised and benefits from diligent weed management for the first 4-6 weeks while the plants are slowly establishing. Leaves are cooked like spinach, flowers are used in salads, to dye food, or sautéed to bring out their mushroom flavor. Tender young bean pods taste like French beans and are best when shorter than 2.5 cm. Tubers are slightly sweet and can be eaten raw or cooked like potatoes. Seeds must be cooked before consumption to make them digestible. They are high in protein and nutrients and can be used similarly to the soybean. Winged Bean is also used as a cover crop to suppress weed growth and add nitrogen to the soil. It needs temperatures between 25-30° C and humidity. It is not drought or frost-tolerant. Most varieties will only flower when the day length is shorter than 12 hours. This makes it difficult to grow Winged Bean outside of sub-tropical and tropical climates, because day lengths shorter than 12 hours are accompanied by temperatures below 25° C and plants are not frost-tolerant. Some day length neutral cultivars exist. Scarification and soaking improve germination.
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