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Botanical description

Bush varieties form erect bushes 20?60 centimeters (7.9?24 in) tall, while pole or running varieties form vines 2?3 meters (6 ft 7 in?9 ft 10 in) long. All varieties bear alternate, green or purple leaves, divided into three oval, smooth-edged leaflets, each 6?15 centimeters (2.4?5.9 in) long and 3?11 centimeters (1.2?4.3 in) wide. The white, pink, or purple flowers are about 1 cm long, and give way to pods 8?20 centimeters (3.1?7.9 in) long, 1?1.5 cm wide, green, yellow, black or purple in color, each containing 4?6 beans. The beans are smooth, plump, kidney-shaped, up to 1.5 cm long, range widely in color, and are often mottled in two or more colors.

Uses

Toxic parts

Seeds, Pollen

low toxicity
Although often used as an edible seed, there are reports that eating the seed of this plant can cause the disease 'Favism' in susceptible people[3][7]. Inhaling the pollen can also cause the disease[3][8]. Favism, which is a severe haemolytic anaemia due to an inherited enzymatic deficiency[8], only occurs in cases of excessive consumption of the raw seed (no more details are given[K]) and when the person is genetically inclined towards the disease[3][9]. About 1% of Caucasians and 15% of people of African descent are susceptible to the disease[8].
The given value was not understood.

Edible uses

Leaves

Cooked as a Vegetable

Seed

Raw, Dried as a Vegetable
Dried, Ground as a Flour
Dried, Cooked as a Vegetable
Fermented as a Tempeh
Popped, Roasted as a Snack

Seed pods

Cooked as a Vegetable

Material uses

A fibre is obtained from the stems. The burnt stems are rich in potassium and can be used in making soap.

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The seedpods are diuretic and lithontripic[3].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nitrogen fixer

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

The earlier sowings should be of suitably hardy varieties such as the 'Longpods' whilst later sowings can be of the tastier varieties such as the 'Windsors'. By making fresh sowings every 3 weeks you will have a continuous supply of fresh young seeds from early summer until early autumn. If you want to grow the beans to maturity then the seed needs to be sown by the middle of spring. You may need to protect the seed from the ravages of mice. Another sowing can be made in middle to late autumn. This has to be timed according to the area where the plants are being grown. The idea is that the plants will make some growth in the autumn and be perhaps 15 - 20cm tall by the time the colder part of winter sets in. As long as the winter is not too severe, the plants should stand well and will grow away rapidly in the spring to produce an earlier crop. The plants will also be less likely to be attacked by blackfly. Make sure you choose a suitably hardy variety for this sowing.

Seed

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in situ in succession from late winter until early summer. Germination should take place in about 7 - 10 days.


Cultivation

Prefers a fairly heavy loam but succeeds in a sunny position in most soils that are well-drained[10][11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes dry conditions according to some reports[12][11], whilst another says that it is drought tolerant once established[6]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 to 7[11]. Broad beans are often cultivated for their edible seed and sometimes also as a green manure crop. There are two main types, the 'longpod' beans are the more hardy and can be sown in the autumn in cool temperate areas, whilst 'windsor' beans, which are considered to be finer flavoured, are less tolerant of the cold and so are best sown in spring[6]. The ideal temperature range in the growing season is between 18 and 27°c, at higher temperatures the flowers are often aborted[11]. The autumn sown varieties are more susceptible to 'chocolate spot' fungus, this problem can be alleviated by the addition of potash to the soil[12]. Black fly can be a major problem in late spring. Autumn sown crops are less likely to be affected. Pinching out the soft tips of the plants, one they are tall enough and are beginning to flower, can reduce the problem since the blackfly always start on the soft shoots and then spread to the older stems. Grows well with carrots, cauliflowers, beet, cucumber, cabbages, leeks, celeriac, corn and potatoes, but is inhibited by onions, garlic and shallots[13][14]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[11]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Vicia faba. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Vicia faba.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Vicia faba
Genus
Vicia
Family
Leguminosae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
  • Strong wind
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
?
Herbaceous or Woody
?
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
1 x
Fertility
Pollinators
?
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? 1.01.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (32202/01/01)
  2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.52.62.72.8 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (32202/01/01)
  3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.43.53.63.73.8 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (32202/01/01)
  4. ? 4.04.14.2 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (32202/01/01)
  5. ? 5.05.15.2 Simons. New Vegetable Growers Handbook. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-050-0 (32202/01/01)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Bianchini. F., Corbetta. F. and Pistoia. M. Fruits of the Earth. ()
  7. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (32202/01/01)
  8. ? 8.08.18.2 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (32202/01/01)
  9. ? Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (32202/01/01)
  10. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
  11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Woodward. L. Burge. P. Green Manures. Elm Farm Research Centre. (32202/01/01)
  13. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (32202/01/01)
  14. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (32202/01/01)
  15. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-17
  16. ? Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (32202/01/01)


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Facts about "Vicia faba"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupNo +
Belongs to familyLeguminosae +
Belongs to genusVicia +
Functions asNitrogen fixer +
Has common nameBroad Bean +, Fava Bean +, Faba Bean +, Field Bean + and Tic Bean +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partLeaves +, Seeds + and Seed pods +
Has edible useVegetable +, Flour +, Tempeh + and Snack +
Has environmental toleranceHigh wind + and Drought +
Has fertility typeSelf fertile +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has growth rateVigorous +
Has imageIllustration Vicia faba1.jpg +
Has lifecycle typeAnnual +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useFibre + and Soap making +
Has mature height1 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useDiuretic +
Has primary imageIllustration_Vicia_faba1.jpg +
Has search namevicia faba + and x +
Has seed requiring scarificationNo +
Has seed requiring stratificationNo +
Has shade toleranceLight shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
Has soil teheavy clayture preferenceHeavy clay +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomy nameVicia faba +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is grown fromSeeds +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates air pollutionNo +
Tolerates maritime exposureNo +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +