These are the easiest beans to grow, ever.
Vigna unguiculata, also called the Yard-long Bean, the Snake Bean, the Asparagus Bean and various other weird names, is an Asian green bean that kicks tail in Florida. I mean, SERIOUS tail. This thing is a monster.
The pods aren’t really a yard long, though they are quite impressive at roughly a cubit. (Yeah, I said cubit. Look it up.)
Let’s talk about how crazy awesome these babies are.
The vines grow really long with little or no care. If you grow these, which you should, make sure you’ve got plenty of climbing room for them. A good trellis really helps them grow. Something fascinating about this plant: you can basically plant it at any warm time of the year as long as you give it enough water to get started. I planted them in mid summer and got a good crop, as well as in fall and spring. This sucker grows like a weed. I’ve even stuck seeds in the front yard and let them run across the grass and eat neighboring trees and shrubs. With zero care, they still bore beans. I once planted them in a spot that received only indirect light: they bore a large crop anyhow. Another time I planted them on a baking-hot fence. Same deal. Tons of beans.
And what beans: the taste is almost nutty. A lot of green bean flavor with overtones of roasted almond and a bit of asparagus.
Snake beans take a little while to get started. For a few weeks, they’re just cute little bean plants. And then they pull the Incredible Hulk routine on you and start reaching for the sky in a blinding green rush.
SPUDMETER SURVIVAL RATING:
SURVIVAL PLANT PROFILE:
Name: Snake bean, Yard-long bean, Asparagus bean
Latin Name: Vigna unguiculata
Type: Vining annual
Nitrogen Fixer: Yes
Exposure: Full sun recommended: in reality, shade too
Part Used: Leaves, small stems
Storability: Moderate (can or freeze as green beans)
Ease of growing: Very easy