The winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus), also known as the Goa bean, four-angled bean, four-cornered bean, Manila bean, and dragon bean, is a tropical legume plant native to New Guinea.
It grows abundantly in the hot, humid equatorial countries. Winged bean is nutrient-rich, and all parts of the plant are edible. Leaves can be eaten like spinach, flowers can be used in salads, tubers can be eaten raw or cooked, seeds can be used in similar ways as the soybean. The winged bean is an underutilised species but has the potential to become a major multi-use food crop in the tropics.
This plant is amazing in that it is so useful. All parts of the plant are edible, the tuber, leaves, flowers, immature pods, and the mature beans. The plant is also very nutrient rich. Winged bean is often called "the one plant supermarket". Winged bean is a perennial, although it can be grown as an annual. Flowers are large and blue.
Eat the immature pods raw or cooked as a crunchy vegetable. They taste similar to asparagus. Cook the beans for 2-3 hours before consuming as you would any other bean. Or roast them
as you would peanuts.
The tuberous root can be eaten raw or cooked. The taste is like potatoes. Tubers can also be ground to make a flour or coffee like drink.
Leaves and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked as spinach.
To germinate, soak seeds overnight before planting. Germination is in 5-7 days. Growth is very fast, with the flowers appearing as early as 40 days after sowing. Pods can be harvested
in less than 2 weeks, with fully mature seed bearing pods ready in about 6 weeks.
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