This year I’m growing a variety of Canavalia, commonly known as jack bean. It’s a fast-growing vine with tri-lobed leaves, and pea-like flowers.
Couldn’t resist including these photos of the buds about to burst and the oriental magpie-robin on the bean trellis.
The seeds germinate within a week. The plant isn’t fussy about the soil type, is drought-resistant and does well in full sun. I’ve got my vines in three different areas, all sunny. Although these plants aren’t bothered by pests, one particular vine has had its leaves ripped off by small black caterpillars.
Although this variety of bean is grown in our parts, the first time I set eyes on these were in September last year in my mother’s garden. The sheer length of the beans stumped me…of course they grew longer later than seen in this photo.
The above photo was taken this afternoon. This bean is eaten in many parts of India. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental with very attractive pea-like flowers. The flowering period is from April to October. The generic name is derived from the Malabar word kavavali which means “forest climber”. According to Wiki, the name of the species endemic to the Hawaiian islands, translates as “the very quick one” or “fast”. Going by its growth rate, the name is most appropriate.