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Yard Long Bean 'Bicolor' / Asparagus Bean (Vigna sesquipedalis)

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Common Names: Yard Long Bean 'Bicolor', Asparagus Bean, Snake Bean, Bodi
Scientific name: Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis
Family: Fabaceae

Plant history & use :

A black spotted/camouflage variant of the long bean.

Usually used and prepared in a similar way to green beans - that is, the bean pods are harvested in an unripe stage to be cooked or eaten raw. Long beans are very good to eat raw, unlike many other broad beans, thanks to their crunchy texture and rich, nutty taste.

You can also leave the bean pods on the plant until they have reached full maturity and cook the dry beans inside the pod in the same way as, for example, kidney beans.

Long beans should be eaten raw alongside other dishes, cooked in woks, pots or made into a salad. A popular example is in papaya salad (Som Tam) where the raw beans are cut into 2-3 cm long pieces and mixed with the grated papaya and other ingredients.

Lila Långböna contains e.g vitamins A, B, C and, as I said, anthocyanins.


Thrives in heat & direct sun, prefers high humidity but it is not a requirement. Relatively drought tolerant once the plant is established. Can be grown both outdoors and in greenhouses.

Use an airy and well-drained soil. If you can give it a soil with a slightly acidic pH value (5.5-7.5), that is an advantage.

As a pea plant, the long bean fixes its own nitrogen in the soil and does not necessarily need to be given any additional fertilization.

The long bean is a so-called sturgeon and has a climbing habit. Feel free to give it some space and something to climb on for vigorous growth and fruiting. When the adult stage is reached and the temperature is around 27-32 °C, the long bean grows vigorously and produces abundantly.

Feel free to prune tops of side shoots for an abundant harvest.

Harvested 2-3 months after germination.

Flowers vary from pink to lavender.


Can be sown directly outdoors / in a greenhouse when the soil temperature has reached above 15 °C. Alternatively, pre-cultivate indoors for planting out in late spring. Keep sowing warm and moist.


Lifespan: Annual
Location: Sun
Height: 125-200 cm
Germination Time: 1-2 weeks