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Jack bean

Canavalia ensiformis

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Robust perrenial climber that is often planted as annual. It is used for animal fodder and has mildly toxic white seeds. Suitable for xeriscaping in summer rainfall areas, because of it's deep roots. The plant has very fast growth, it shoots up to a height of 2m in good growing conditions. Excellent in crop rotation as part of the legume family it will nourish your soil!

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring, Summer
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds - the seeds can take 180-300 days to mature.

Propagation

Seed
Seed will mature in 180-300 days! Sow seeds after the last frost or start indoors in pots.

Special features

Drought resistant
Deep roots allow the plant to survive dry spells.
Hedge plant
Thick screen while growing up to 2m tall, but only temporary - it is an annual and will die back after harvest!
Crop rotation
Legume family is important in crop rotation, fixing nitrogen and inproving soil condition.
Attractive fruits
Beans are edible - it produce large pods of up to 36cm with huge white seeds.
Attractive flowers
Interesting shaped flowers in pink or purple.

Geography

Origin
West Indies Island, Carribean
Natural climate
Tropical and Sub-tropical

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Acid
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Edible
The young tender leaves can be cooked as vegetable or use immature stage by slicing and boiling the tender pods. The bean must not be consumed raw.

Personality

Family
Fabaceae
Flower colour
White, pink or purple (magenta).
Scent
None

Problems

The plant is known to be relatively free from attack by pests and diseases.

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