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Hyacinth bean (ANNUAL VINE)

Hyacinth bean produces beautiful magenta-colored fruit.

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.

Botanical name:

Lablab purpureus (syn. Dolichos lablab)

All common names:

Hyacinth bean, lablab, Indian bean, Egyptian bean

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):

Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae)

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Vine

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Container,
  • Massing,
  • Screen,
  • Shade tree,
  • Specimen

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

Seasons of Interest:

  • midsummer,
  • late summer,
  • early fall

Flower Color & 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.

Plant Care

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

Disease, pests, and problems

Japanese beetles and bean beetles will chew the leaves.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to Africa.

Leaf description

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

Flower description

Pea-type flowers, lavender purple in color.  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.


Location of Lablab purpureus (syn. Dolichos lablab) (Hyacinth bean (ANNUAL VINE)) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.