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Lablab purpureus

Indian bean

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Key information

Plant type

Conservatory climber

Flower colour





Half hardy

Skill level


photo by Sabina Ruber, copyright GAP Photos (134822)

Plant details

This lovely climber is widely grown as an edible crop in South America and Asia, but has been treated here for more than a century as a greenhouse climber only planted outdoors in summer. Its growth habit resembles that of a runner bean, and its attractive rosy purple flowers (also white in a packet of mixed seeds) are carried on similarly long spikes. The pods, rarely more than 10cm (4in) long, are glossy and violet-purple, as eye-catching as the blooms when seen together. The vines branch freely and need strong supports.

Genus: Lablab

Species: purpureus

Plant type: Conservatory climber

Flower colour: Lavender

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Half hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 400cm

Spread: 45cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May

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