Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens)

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The Velvet Bean is a tropical legume and annual climbing shrub native to tropical regions of Africa and Asia.  This vine is largely cultivated for the medicinal benefit of it's seeds.  Velvet Bean seeds contain the substance dopamine, or L-dopa, a substance that is used as a first-line treatment for Parkinson's disease.  Seeds also contain substances that have anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and anti-oxidant properties.

Velvet Bean produces white and lavender flower panicles and large clusters of deep-purple hairy bean pods that encapsulate the dark black medicinal seeds.  The Velvet Bean vine has extremely long climbing ability and reach.

Plant Type: 
Annual Fruiting Vine, Legume

Harvest Season: 
Summer, Fall

Mature Size: 
Vines may reach 12-15 ft in length

Soil & Moisture: 
Velvet Bean grows great in light and sandy well-draining soil.  It thrives in tropical climates with heavy rainfall, as well as dry climates. Velvet Bean is not picky! 

Light Requirements: 
Full Sun, Part Shade

Self-Fertile: 
Yes

Growth Rate: 
Fast, Very Fast

Zone Hardiness: 
Outdoors 4-11 with frost protection; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Velvet Bean is grown as an annual, even in hot climates, due to it's short lifespan.  Plant outdoors after risk of frost has passed.

Propagation: 
These plants are propagated from seed and grown as an annual, ready to fruit and harvest within one growing season.

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