Mucuna sempervirens

Mucuna sempervirens

Mucuna sempervirens or Seabean is a very voluble climber with glorious green foliage of the beans family. The flowers are spectacular: crimson and yellow, in bunches of 20 cm length and forming pods of 30 cm.

In its natural habitat it climbs trees. When growing conditions are optimal, this climber can be extremely invasive.
In colder climates it is grown as an annual.

Synonyms:

Mucuna japonica Nakai
Mucuna mairei

Common name:

Sea beans

Origin:

China, Japan

Hardiness:

Perennial in zone 10, -1 °C
Annual in USDA zone 8
Rusticity seems to be better in older specimens with lignified stems.

Soil:

Can be grown in a large variety of soils

Height:

2 to 12 m



Exposure:

As this is a tree climber, the foot of the plant can stand in shade or semi-shade, the upper parts in full sun.

Sowing instructions:

  • scarify the beans till the white of the germ shows
  • soak for 1-2 days in tepid water, change the water once or twice a day
  • sow in light soil
  • sow the beans together in 1 pot
  • 20-30 °C

Repotting:

  • transplant the seedlings as they germinate, leave the others in case they germinate later
  • transplant in individual pot if the weather is still too cold
  • in the garden when the weather is warm enough (probably end of May, beginning of June)

Care:

  • this plant needs a sturdy support to climb: tree, sturdy fence…
  • not enough experimentation has taken place in zone 8 to have detailed information but the plant should do well in a variety of conditions

Image sources

  • Mucuna sempervirens: Own work

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