The Q&A Archives: Friendship Vine

Question: I am look for the name of a vine with purple pods. The pods are similiar to snow peas.

I am originally from South Africa and am use to eating these pods as a vegetable, but have seen them here in Philadelphia used as ornamental ground cover. In one location I saw a sign that called this plant a 'Friendship Vine'.

Where Can I obtain this plant or seeds?.

Answer: Although I am not familiar with a plant by the particular name of "Friendship Vine", I suspect what you saw was what is also called Dolichos or Purple Hyacinth Bean or Egyptian Hyacinth Bean or sometimes Lab Lab. It is a climber, but it could also be grown as a groundcover. Generally it is considered an ornamental annual vine in this country. I would think the name "friendship" was applied to it in the spirit of thanking someone for sharing the seeds -- this is an old favorite "passalong" or "friendship" plant. Burpee (1-800-888-1447 or ) offers the seeds.

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