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 http://www.burpee.com ) offers the seeds.
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