The Hyacinth Bean is featured on the arbor in the Monticello vegetable garden and draws countless questions from visitors every year. In his Garden Book in 1812, Thomas Jefferson mentioned, "Arbor beans white, scarlet, crimson, purple . . . on the long walk of the garden." Although not specifically mentioned by Jefferson, Hyacinth Bean was sold by his favorite nurseryman, Bernard McMahon, in 1804. This tender annual vine produces attractive purplish-green leaves, showy rose-purple flowers and pods, and unusual black and white seeds.
Direct sow purple hyacinth bean seeds after the last spring frost in well-drained soil. To improve germination, soak seeds in water for 12 hours before sowing. Provide a support structure. Approximately 5 purple hyacinth bean seeds per packet.
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