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Phaseolus polystachios - (L.) Britton et al

Common Name Thicket Bean. Wild bean
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 6-10
Known Hazards We have seen no specific reports for this species, but the mature seed of most, if not all, members of this genus contain various anti-nutritional factors. Soaking the seeds, discarding the water and then boiling them and discarding the water will remove these toxins and render the seeds safe and nutritious[K Plants for a Future Author Ken Fern Description Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips. ].
Habitats A temperate plant. It grows in dry woods and sandy thickets. Climbing on shrubs and young trees in moist thickets, clearings and edges of deciduous forests, in deep swamps and sometimes on dry sandy, dry shale and rocky hillsides[1555 ].
Range North America, Mesoamerica. Eastern and southern N. America - Iowa to Maine, south to Texas and Florida
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Phaseolus polystachios Thicket Bean. Wild bean


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Phaseolus polystachios Thicket Bean. Wild bean
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Summary

Phaseolus polystachios is a herbaceous perennial climbing plant. In spite of its common name, it is more closely related to the lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus), and it holds potential as a crop wild relative due to its resistance to white mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum).


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Phaseolus polystachios is a CLIMBER growing to 3 m (9ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 7. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Dolichos polystachios L. Phaseolus sinuatus Torr. & A.Gray

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed  Seedpod
Edible Uses:

Edible Portion: The seeds are eaten, fresh or dried. Seeds - cooked[1438 ]. The elongate seedpod can be 70mm long and 12 mm wide, containing black, squarish seeds around 6mm long, 6 - 7mm wide and 4mm thick[1555 ]. Carbon farming - Staple Crop: protein.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None Known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Carbon farming - Agroforestry Services: nitrogen.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Historic Crop  Management: Standard  Staple Crop: Protein

Climate: cold temperate to tropical. Humidity: humid. Found in the wild on a range of soils from clays to sands[1555 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[755 ]. Carbon Farming - Cultivation: historic crop. Management: standard. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. Growth habit is a single or multiple shooting vine from a crown [1-2]. Herbaceous.

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Plants that contribute to nitrogen fixation include the legume family – Fabaceae.
  • Historic Crop  These crops were once cultivated but have been abandoned. The reasons for abandonment may include colonization, genocide, market pressures, the arrival of superior crops from elsewhere, and so forth.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Staple Crop: Protein  (16+ percent protein, 0-15 percent oil). Annuals include beans, chickpeas, lentils, cowpeas, and pigeon peas. Perennials include perennial beans, nuts, leaf protein concentrates, and edible milks.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have ripened and dried the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[K ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Thicket Bean. Wild bean. Wild kidney bean

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

North America, USA.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Least Concern

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Phaseolus coccineusRunner Bean, Scarlet runnerAnnual/Perennial3.0 1-12 FLMHNM403
Phaseolus lunatusLima Bean, Sieva beanPerennial Climber6.0 10-12  LMHNM413
Phaseolus vulgarisFrench Bean, Kidney beanAnnual2.0 2-11  LMHNM522

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

(L.) Britton et al

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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