Content Detail

Hyacinth bean is an annual vine that offers both attractive flowers and fruits. The purple pea-type flowers will produce bean ‘pods’ that are magenta-colored.

  • Family (English) Bean
  • Family (botanic) Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae)
  • Tree or plant type Vine
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 9, Zone 10
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Season of interest midsummer, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Purple
  • Shape or form Vining
  • Growth rate Fast
  • More information


Size and Method of Climbing: 

Hyacinth bean is an annual vine, but it is still capable of growing 12 to 15 feet in a season. It is a twining vine. Twining vines climb by twisting their stems or leaf stalks around a support. This type of vine grows well on trellises, arbors, wires, or chain-link fences.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Hyacinth bean is native to Africa.

Leaf description: 

The alternate leaves are trifoliate (three leaflets). They are dark green, often with a purplish tinge.

Flower description: 

The pea-type flowers are lavender-purple in color. They are produced from mid-summer until frost.

Fruit description: 

The fruit are magenta-colored ‘bean pods’ (legumes). Beans should not be eaten raw. They need to be boiled before eating.

Plant care: 

Grow hyacinth beans in full sun and moist, well-drained soils. It is easily grown from seed. Start it indoors 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost, and transplant it outside once the danger of frost has passed.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Japanese beetles and bean beetles will chew the leaves of hyacinth bean.


Your support is vital to the Arboretum, where the power of trees makes a positive impact on people’s lives.

Make a gift