Canavalia Ensiformis: The Wonderful Jack Bean
Looking for some information on the Jack Bean, or Canavalia Ensiformis? Let’s unravel the mystery surrounding this magical message bean.
The Jack Bean’s botanical name is Canavalia Ensiformis. It is commonly referred to as a magic bean or sometimes even the Mole Bean or Wonder Bean.
Where is the Jack Bean grown?
Whilst they are native to the West Indies, they are now commonly grown in many temperate areas such as central America and Africa specifically for their seeds.
Jack beans love the sun and warm conditions. They are also happy in moderate shade and as a garden plant. It can easily grow to over 2 metres tall, provided it receives enough nutrients, water and sunshine.
It is a climbing bean vine which produces 8-20cm long leaves and is quite bushy. Its strong root system helps it to develop with gorgeous flowers that are typically mauve, however can be pink.
The bean pods that are produced can be up to 36cm long. They contain 1-2cm long beans which we call magic beans. You may be lucky to harvest as many as 12 beans per pod.
Can I eat a Jack Bean?
The young, immature pods and seeds can cooked and consumed as a vegetable, whilst the whole plant is also used for animal food. Those who love this bean claim you can just boil them or fry in a little butter just like you would any other bean. Don’t eat the pods though as they can be quite stringy.
Once fully ripe, the beans are too hard and too old and are not fit to be consumed. Like the pinto bean, this is one bean that must not be consumed raw. It must be cooked.
In many Asian countries, the young flowers and leaves are steamed and used as flavourings in many foods. You’ll also find that the beans are used in Chinese Medicine.
This clever bean is not only functional but can be engraved with words and images and therefore becomes a talking plant, a unique gift and a very ingenious promotional product.
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Show your clients or employees you appreciate them, celebrate a milestone or simply say "thank you". A personalised magic bean growing kit is a unique way to nurture business relationships.
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Whether it's product launch, trade show, or any other event - magic beans are a sustainable way to promote your business. What could be friendlier to planet Earth than a seed?
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