Bean by the meter (Vigna unguiculata)




The long, delicate pods of yardlong beans are an important vegetable, particularly in China and Southeast Asia. Mostly they are harvested while still young and used as green beans. Before the garden bean was imported from Latin America, the cowpea was widely cultivated in Europe – Vigna unguiculata, originally from Africa, had been around long before today’s common bean varieties. Since it is a tropical plant, the cowpea needs heat to thrive – it is ideally cultivated in a greenhouse or in large pots in a sunny location.

If met with the warm conditions it requires, the pods of this Asian cultivar of the yardlong bean can grow up to 1 m long!


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