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From this article... 

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetai...

...it appears that the leaves, flowers and even young pods are edible.  Anyone have experience with growing and/or eating this topical plant in the Midwest?

If so... what do you think of its use as a cover crop for freshly dug swales?

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Replies to This Discussion

Bill,

Several Master Gardeners have grown this the past two years as a decorative plant, I was the only one that gave the beans a try as an edible.  As good as many other beans I have had.  I have encouraged others to grow the bean on the front pillars of their homes as a decorative edible, but now you have me encouraged to go back and try the leaves and flowers in addition to the beans.

Have used it in shady (N) and sunny (S) sides of the house with good success, both locations have water overflow from downspouts so they are not water starved during the summer months.

Vince

Sweet... Thanks Vince.

Anyone else?

Tried it last year on a fence but did not eat the plant at all. Will probably grow it again this year and try eating it at the young stage. The mature beans are said to be toxic. We have seen many of the gardeners at the community site in Oak Creek growing lab lab as an ornamental at the edges of their gardens. Unsure of its efficacy as a cover crop in swales and am more in favor of white Dutch clover for use as a ground cover in that situation as it grows fast and by the second year has an established root system that can endure moderate drought.

Thanks Bryce. 

Good point Bryce.  The lablab is an annual in our climate whereas the clover is a perennial and will come to life each spring.  I wonder is lablab will reseed itself?  Assuming so if the beans are not harvested. 

Time to do some experimenting I guess.

It will not self sow every year in this climate. The beans rot. However in a mild winter, crimson clover can be overwintered as far north as zone 6 and self sow. White Dutch clover and other clovers will overwinter and swelf sow for the most part depending on the species. To grow a fairly hardy zone 7 overwintering legume with a large seed try favas. They are hardy to about 15 F and grow best when the weather is cool as in spring or autumn.

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