“Does anyone have a good place to buy non stinging velvet beans? I grew the stinging variety this year (not knowing they were the stinging variety until they produced) and yesterday my wife got stung… so never again… need the non stinging type”
The wild forms of velvet bean are known as “cowitch” or sometimes “madness bean.”
This is for good reason, as the stinging hairs will drive you insane with itching and pain.
Keith sent me photos of his scary hair velvet beans – look at these!
They’re beautiful, aren’t they? Looks like something you’d want to pet.
Actually, it reminds me of Florida’s nastiest caterpillar:
Don’t touch! It’ll get you!
Velvet beans are worth growing due to their health benefits, especially their ability to lift your mood and boost your testosterone. They also fix nitrogen and smother weeds quite nicely.
The stinging ones are edible in small quantities, just as the non-stinging types are. Just don’t eat a lot of velvet beans. Go slow!
Here’s a video I did a while back where I show how to cook velvet beans:
As you can probably see, the ones I grew back in North Florida were a non-stinging type. The pods looked like this:
Compare that to Keith’s beans:
Those stinging beans really are pretty, though.
Even the non-stinging ones can cause a little itching if you have sensitive skin, so be aware.
Here in Central America there are the wild, hairy forms growing here and there in the woods. You need to watch out for them, as it’s easy to push your way through the undergrowth and accidentally get tormented by unforeseen beans.
Sources for Non-Stinging Velvet Beans?
Can anyone help Keith find non-stinging velvet beans for his garden?
I used to have jars of them but couldn’t bring them with me overseas, so I don’t have any I can share.
UPDATE: You can find stingless velvet beans on ebay.