Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Workmate Vinay has given me some of these summer grown Indian veg. Vinay has only been able to give me the name Telugu to go on and thinks they are a relative of snow peas, though they look very bean like. I haven't had time to research yet. Seeds coming :)
Canavalia ensiformis (per Jerry C-W) aka Jack Bean.

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Comment by Rara on August 15, 2020 at 11:59
Thanks for your comments and links. I've become particularly interested in sword beans because i found Asians taking dry roasted pod tea recently. I was skeptical about this homeopathic remedy. I became convinced in its medicinal effects. Serendipity! canavalia ensiformis is native in Australia.
Comment by Dave Riley on August 14, 2020 at 9:10

The Coastal Jack Bean (Canavalia rosea) is probably poisonous. I grow them for ground cover. So don't get them mixed up.

The coastal variety has shorter pods with fewer but larger beans.It is a very useful plant as ground cover, for erion control and for mulch harvest.

Canavalia ensiformis is also mildly toxic. See here.

But if you eat the  beans when young, they are less so (or maybe not at all):LINK.

Having said that there is some debate that  Canavalia rosea was used by Aborigines to create a flour after ( I think) dry roasting in the fire.

A challenge of a diet dependent on coastal ecology is often the absence of foraged starches.

Comment by Rara on August 14, 2020 at 8:23
Hi, Lisa. You have what I've been searching for. I saw this hugemongus beans somewhere on the coast on one of my holidays. I wish I had tried to find what it was and this website back then. Would you please reply to me if you still have jack beans/sword beans to sell at
I'd love to hear from you.
Comment by Lissa on April 10, 2016 at 18:48

And it doesn't taste bad, just not good steamed on it's own. Better in a cooked dish.

Comment by Lissa on April 10, 2016 at 18:41

Not fibrous, not at all. Just....with substance. Keeps it's texture and colour when cooked. 

Vinay uses his in Indian cooking Dianne.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on April 10, 2016 at 14:46

It is very pretty even if it doesn't taste that good. Keep us posted when you use it in a casserole. How does your friend use theirs?

Comment by Phil on April 10, 2016 at 11:56

I suspected this may be the case as they looked fibrous in the above photo when mature. Lissa did you try the young immature pods? In any case they certainly look easy to grow.

Comment by Lissa on April 10, 2016 at 6:13

My plants are starting to produce pods. Tried steaming some last night - not good. A better veg for chopping into a stir fry or casserole I'm thinking.

Comment by Vinay Nellipudi on February 12, 2016 at 5:37
All good Lissa , take care
Comment by Lissa on February 12, 2016 at 5:31

I didn't go to work yesterday Vinay, not feeling too well. I'll bring them home tonight and use them over the weekend.

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