About Purple Moonshadow: This lovely vine has been growing in the estate gardens of both Mount Vernon and Monticello for generations, as a historical treasure imported from Asia. In the days before air conditioning, vines like this were often grown on the sunny side of country houses to absorb some of the heat. Today many countries in tropical regions grow this legume for a food source, since the entire plant is edible with proper preparation. Its nitrogen fixing abilities also make it a good soil building cover crop.
Purple Moonshadow Germination: The day before planting, pour 180 degrees F water over the seeds and soak them overnight. Direct sow 1” deep. To start the treated seeds indoors, start them about 6 weeks before the last frost of spring; plant two seeds per peat pot, keeping the soil consistently moist and at a temperature of 70 degrees F until germination. Transplant the seedlings 12-15” apart after the last chance of frost.
Growing Purple Moonshadow Seeds: Water seedlings regularly until they become established; mature plants tolerate drought, but also grow well with regular watering. Though this plant loves heat and humidity, it will not tolerate full shade or frost. Since it quickly develops vigorous vines, it requires support such as a trellis or fence. This vine attracts hummingbirds and bees.
Harvesting Purple Moonshadow: These blossoms make lovely cut flowers; choose flowers that have just opened, cutting the stems long and placing them in water immediately. The entire plant is also edible, though the seeds contain poison and must be boiled very well to make them safe for eating.
Saving Purple Moonshadow Seeds: After flowering, this plant will produce bright purple 3” pods. Mature seeds are round and black with a white marking on the side. Remove the seeds from their pods and store them in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Purple Moonshadow Info: Origin: Asia Other Common Names: Hyacinth Bean, Lablab Bean, Bonavista Bean, Egyptian Bean Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Summer-Early Fall Height: 8-10 feet Spacing: 12-15 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 75 Produces a vine with a dark red stem, 6” oval green leaves, fragrant clusters of bright purple and white blossoms, and 3-4” velvety purple pods.