Jackbean (Canavalia ensiformis)
Jackbean (Canavalia ensiformis)
Jackbean (Canavalia ensiformis)

Jackbean (Canavalia ensiformis)

Regular price $16.95

Jackbean, is a climbing perennial legume commonly cultivated as an annual that produces foot-long bean pods! Canavalia ensiformis will produce 1-inch long flowers that are pink, purple, or white. The trademark ivory-colored beans of the plant should be harvested before complete maturation, with anywhere from the first 80 to 120 days of growth. They are about the size of a quarter, and were often eaten as a vegetable by native tribes in droughted regions of Arizona and Mexico. If eaten fully mature, they must be cooked before eating. Jackbean is native to Central and South America, where the bean pods are traditionally used for animal fodder and human nutrition, especially in Brazil where it is called feijão-de-porco. It is also the source of concanavalin A, a lectin used in research to better understand soil pathology, our immune systems, cancer cells, and more.

It is called by a list of common names that almost match its list of potential uses: Chickasaw lima bean, Brazilian broad bean, coffee bean, ensiform bean, pig bean, horse bean, mole bean, go-ta-ki, overlook bean, Pearson bean, watanka, raba de burro, and more. It has a lot in common with sword bean, Canvalia gladiata, but grows as a vine instead of a bush. 

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Sow Exotic ships nationwide year-round to the United States.  We use plant-based, plastic-free, reusable, recyclable, biodegradable, AND compostable packaging materials. All of our plants ship ready-to-grow in plantable pots (with the exception of citrus) and range in size.  See the size guide on each plant page to learn more about what to expect upon arrival.

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Shipping cost is calculated at checkout based on your order weight and your distance from the nursery. Shipping is combined for multiple orders with plants, so the more you grow, the more you save!  

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Live plant orders are processed at the beginning of each week and ship on Monday-Thursday via 1-3 Day USPS Priority Mail. Order processing time before shipment averages from 1-14 days. 

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As soon as you place your order, you will receive order confirmation and a link to your Order Status Page.  You can view and track your orders progress online any time via your Order Status Page!

When your order ships, we'll send you a shipping confirmation and tracking info to let you know it's on it's way! We'll also send you delivery confirmation as soon as your order has been dropped off!

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Heat Packs & Weather Holds:

Heat Packs
Shipping tropical plants to a cold climate in the middle of winter? We sell Heat Packs! If it's under 32 degrees in your area, we definitely recommend ordering a Heat Pack! Visit our Heat Packs page to learn more and purchase your heat pack. 

Weather Holds
Waiting for the perfect time to plant? You can order now and request a custom weather hold until your preferred arrival date.  Please email care@sowexotic.com to request a custom hold. 

Local Pickup at the Nursery:

Not available at this time.

Shipping to Hawaii & Puerto Rico:

We ship to Puerto Rico! Almost all of our plants ship (bare root, of course) to Hawaii & Puerto Rico. Due to USDA restrictions, here's the list of a plants that we don't ship. 

Plants that DO NOT ship to Puerto Rico: Coffee, Palm, Banana  

Plants that DO NOT ship to Hawaii: Pineapple, Palm, Papaya, Coffee, Banana, Passion Fruit

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How to Grow Jackbean

Plant Type: Perennial Legume Climbing Vine, may be cultivated as an Annual

Harvest Season: Late Summer - Fall or throughout the year, depending on preferred bean maturity and growing location. 

Mature Size: Up to 32 ft. vine

Soil & Moisture: Well-drained soils, but can tolerate drought

Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade

Zone Hardiness: 9-11