Hyacinth Bean (Lablab purpureus)
Hyacinth Bean is also sometimes known as Lablab. It is a perennial vine in the pea family (Fabaceae). It is widely cultivated for use as a vegetable and for animal feed, and therefore a number of cultivars of this species exist.
Hyacinth Bean vines can grow up to 9 metres or 30 feet long. The leaves are made up of three, lobed leaflets held on a stem away from the vine. At least two cultivars are known from Bermuda. One produces purplish-pink flowers and pointed pods with a rough edge. The second, more common variety, produces white flowers and a more rounded pod with a pointed tip and smooth edges. The seeds are glossy brown beans with a distinctive white margin.
Hyacinth Bean is considered an invasive pest in Bermuda and should not be planted or allowed to go to seed. It can be found in several nature reserves and in disused fields formerly used for agriculture. In these places it grows densely over all other vegetation, blocking the sunlight and killing the other plants.
Lablab purpureus is a synonym of Dolichos lablab (http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/ild-2776 ).
Read more about Hyacinth Bean and Kudzu in these items from the BAMZ library:
- The lesser of two evils: kudzu and its cousin lablab, by Lisa Greene and Omari Dill. In Critter Talk Volume 30 #1 2007.
- Andrew Pettit. 2004. Kudzu eradication and woodland management plan. Government of Bermuda report. BAMZ#1580.
- Omari Dill. 2008. Lablab purpureus (Lablab) eradication program 2008. Government of Bermuda report.