Hyacinth beans – Lablab purpureus Facts

Hyacinth bean is an herbaceous, climbing and annual with vigorous taproot. It has a thick stem which grows up to 3 feet. Leaves are trifoliate and long stemmed. The egg-shaped leaflet is 3–6 in. (7.5–15 cm) long and widens in the middle. The above part of the leaflet is smooth and shorthaired below.

Name Hyacinth beans
Scientific Name Lablab purpureus
Native Africa and is cultivated widely in North Africa and Asia for its edible pods.
Common/English Name Bonavist, Dolichos, Bonavist Bean, Egyptian Kidney Bean, Egyptian Bean, Hyacinth Bean, Field Bean, Indian Butter Bean, Indian Bean, Lablab Bean, Lablab, Papaya Bean, Musical Bean, Rongai Dolichos, Poor Man’s Bean, Tonga Bean, Sweet Pulse, Wild Bean Creeper, Wild Bean
Name in Other Languages Amharic: Amora-Guaya;
Arabic: Lablâb;
Argentina: Poroto De Egipto;
Burmese: Pe-Gyi;
Caribbean: Banner Bean;
Chamorro: Chuchumeko;
Chinese: Peng Pi Dou;
Columbia: Frijol Jacinto;
Czech: Dlouhatec Lablab;
Danish: Hjelmboenne;
Dutch: Komak;
Eastonian: Lobauba;
El Salvador: Frijol De Adorno;
Fiji: Ndralawa;
Finnish: Hyasinttipapu;
French: Dolique Lab-Lab,;
Gambia: Nalvo;
German: Faselbohne;
Hawaii: Pī;
Assamese: Urchi,
Bengali: Sim,
Gujarati: Valpadi,
Hindu: Val,
Kannada: Avara,
Kashmiri: Moang,
Konkani: Vaal,
Malayalam: Avara,
Oriya: Baragudi,
Tamil: Mochai,
Telugu: Chikkudu;
Indonesia: Kerara;
Italian: Fagiolo Del Cairo;
Ivory Coast: Guangono Abrua;
Japanese: Ingen;
Kenya: Njahi;
Korean: P’Yontu;
Laos: Mak Thoua Peb;
Malaysia: Kara Kara;
Mexico: Gallinita;
Nepal: Rajashimi;
Nigeria: Wáákén Dànfámíí;
Peru: Lenteja Bocona;
Bontok: Itab,
Bikol: Batau, Bataw,
Bisaya: Batau,
Cebu-Bisaya: Baglau,
Ifugao: Itab,
Iloko: Parda-Atap,
Tagalog: Sibachi;
Portuguese: Dólico Do Egipto;
Puerto Rico: Frijol Caballo;
Rapa Nui: Haricot;
Russian: Lobija;
Sri Lanka (Sinhalese): Dambala;
Spanish: Carmelita;
Sudan: Lubia;
Thai: Thua Nang;
Tonga: Pini‘Ae Puaka;
Turkish: Lablab;
Vietnamese: Dâu Ván;
Venezuela: Caroata Chwata;
Zambia: Fiwi Bean
Plant Growth Habit Annual or short-lived perennial, twining or trailing herb
Growing Climate Tropical
Soil Well-drained
Plant Size 10-15 feet
Stem Thick, Length: 6 meters
Leaf Alternate, trifoliate, Length: 7.5 – 15 cm
Edible parts of the plants Young pod: They are added to stir- fries and curries.
Immature seeds: The green seeds are consumed boiled, roasted, fermented to tempeh or processed into Tofu.
Young shoots, leaves and inflorescences: These are consumed as spinach.
Flowering Season Summer
Flower Purple, White
Pod shape & size Broadly scimitar, long, flat, smooth; Length: 4–5 cm
Pod color Bright purple – pale green
Pod texture and peel Smooth, thin
Seeds shape and size Round to oval, Length: 1 cm
Seeds color White, cream, pale brown, dark brown, red, black or mottled
Flavor/aroma Strong, nutty aroma
Taste Sweet
  • Hyacinth Bean, White Flower
  • Hyacinth Bean, Purple Flower
  • Hyacinth Bean, Asia Purple
  • Hyacinth Bean, Asia White
Major Nutritions (Without salt) Iron, Fe 8.89 mg (111.13%)
Copper, Cu 0.662 mg (73.56%)
Zinc, Zn 5.53 mg (50.27%)
Isoleucine 0.757 g (45.28%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.524 mg (43.67%)
Manganese, Mn 0.935 mg (40.65%)
Valine 0.819 g (38.78%)
Magnesium, Mg 159 mg (37.86%)
Histidine 0.452 g (36.69%)
Leucine 1.341 g (36.28%)
Threonine 0.611 g (34.72%)
Phosphorus, P 233 mg (33.29%)
Lysine 1.079 g (32.27%)
Protein 15.79 g (31.58%)
Carbohydrate 40.14 g (30.88%)
Health Benefits
  • Brain health
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Prevent cancer
  • Assist respiration
  • Supports digestion
  • Treats insomnia
  • Assist levels of energy
  • Gum health
  • Enhance mood
  • Prevent cramps
Calories in 1cup (194 gm)
Without salt
227 Kcal.
  • Hyacinth bean should not be consumed raw. Raw hyacinth beans are harmful and lead to stomach problems.
  • It may result flatulence or gas.
  • The dry seeds should be avoided because they may be poisonous and should be consumed after continuous boiling.
  • Those who are allergic to Hyacinth bean should avoid its use.
  • It may interact with anticancer agents, antiretroviral agents, immune system & fertility agents, gastrointestinal agents, antifungals and antiviral agents.
  • Those who suffer from cold or flu should avoid Hyacinth bean.
How to Eat
  • The immature pods are consumed boiling as vegetables.
  • They are boiled, sautéed, steamed and baked.
  • Flowers are added to salads.
  • Young leaves used as a pot herb, starchy root cooked.
  • Hyacinth bean is added to curries and used as flavoring agent.
  • The leaves of the herb are eaten like spinach.


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