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Vicia faba

Phonetic Spelling
VIK-ee-uh FAH-va
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Faba Bean or Broad Bean is a self-fertile, widely cultivated annual legume that is grown for its nutritious seeds and pods which are high in protein and consumed by millions of people throughout the world. Legumes have the ability to fix nitrogen from the air and are often used as a cover crop.

Four to five months are needed between sowing seed and harvesting.  This cool season crop can be grown in most climates, however,  temperatures in the 60's are ideal.  In locations where the daytime temperatures exceed the mid 70's may have poor results unless planted at a time when temperatures are milder.  In areas that experience dry, hot weather, this plant may not be a good choice for your garden.

It is a stiffly erect plant that grows 2-6 feet tall and prefers moist loams but is tolerant of clay and saline soils and once established, drought.

Inhalation of the pollen or ingestion of the seeds may cause favism, which is a severe anemia destroying red blood cells. This only occurs in cases of excessive consumption of the raw seed or breathing the pollen in people with a genetic disposition towards the disease.

Two subspecies are grown.  Vicia faba var. major (broad beans) has large seeds, and is grown as a vegetable for human consumption.  It can be used in soups, stews, salads and side dishes.  Vicia faba var. minor (horse beans or field beans) is grown for feeding livestock.  A fiber extracted from the stems is used for making soap.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Both beneficial and pest insects feed on the nectar.  Susceptible to damage from aphids.   Ingestion can be poisonous to some individuals.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#sun#fragrant flowers#annual#drought tolerant#edible plant#salt tolerant#edible seeds#edible garden#edible#clay soils tolerant#edible legume#livestock feed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#sun#fragrant flowers#annual#drought tolerant#edible plant#salt tolerant#edible seeds#edible garden#edible#clay soils tolerant#edible legume#livestock feed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vicia
    Species:
    faba
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Said to be used for diuretic, expectorant, and tonic.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Middle East
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees, wasps and lady beetles are attracted to the flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edibility:
    Faba bean is widely grown for its nutritious seeds and pods. The dry, mature seeds are popular in dishes throughout the Middle East, Mediterranean countries, China and Ethiopia and in many other countries the green immature seeds and pods are eaten as a vegetable. It is also used in animal feed for pigs, horses, poultry and pigeons.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Herb
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a narrowly oblong flattened pod up to 11 inches long containing up to 6 seeds. The seeds are .5 to 1 inch in diameter and are oval and compressed. The colors of the seeds range from brown to reddish or green.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Description:
    The stalked flowers are unbranched racemes with 1-6 flowers that are fragrant and resemble those of a pea bloom. Petals are white with the outermost one being marked with a purplish or brown blotch.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Each stem is composed of 2-6 leaflets that are 4 by 1.5 inches. Each leaf has conspicuous stipules (appendages at the base of the leaf) which are toothed at the margins and vary widely in shape.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    It has a course, stout, square, hollow stem having no branches.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Persons ingesting numerous seeds and having a genetic predisposition to favism may develop a blood disorder (hemolytic anemia) by eating the beans, or even by walking through a field where the plants are in flower.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Cyanogenic glycosides
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits