The purple hyacinth bean, one of Thomas Jefferson's favorites
I first saw the purple hyacinth bean when I visited Monticello with my best friend in the fall of 2007. This past spring, my brother, with whom I am always swapping seeds and garden talk, sent me home with a handful of beans to plant on the boys' teepee. I've really enjoyed watching this vine grow. It is far more aggressive than the other pole beans, though it took longer to get started than the Turkey Craw bean. Most of my other vines are dying back now and the teepee is covered with bright purple pods. Raleigh friends, if you want me to save you some of this seed, let me know! It's an excellent climber and is so pretty while in blossom.