Plant ID forum→What kind of plant is this with verrrry long beans-NorthEastPenn

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Feb 5, 2017 3:45 PM CST
I live in northeaster Pennsylvania.

I know it is winter now but I finally found the picture I took of a plant that grows around my yard. Well it could be a weed for all I know but it seems the neighbors have them also and they are back in the woods a bit.

Was curious last summer as to what they are so I took a picture of one. The leaves are about as large if not larger than an adult male's palm. The beans are anywhere from 12" to 18" and some may be longer. I have never noticed flowers on this plant so can't report much on that. But we do have several of these plants around the house near the woods.

Umm, wonder if the beans are edible. I love beans, stemmed with olive oil and fresh lemon on them. My dad used to take me out dandelion picking when I was younger. We would pick the young ones, bring them in the house, steam them, put olive oil and fresh lemon on then and eat-them-up. They were good. Yes, I was about 13 years old eating dandelions and loved them.
Thumb of 2017-02-05/plantluver01/105224

Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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Feb 5, 2017 4:30 PM CST
Well, there is a variety of pole beans that has very long beans. They are known as Mung bean, Asparagus bean or also Yardlong beans. But they are an annual plant and would die in the winter up there in Pennsylvania. Yours sounds like it lives through the winter, so is a perennial, is that right? Or does it die back, and seed itself from year to year?

So I'm really not sure that the plant in your picture is actually a bean plant. The leaves are the right shape, but rather more shiny than most beans I think. I would definitely not take a chance on eating the beans until you identify the plant for sure. Your County extension service should be able to help you with that.

If not, a picture of the flowers would also be very helpful. Beans do have a distinctive shape of flower.

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Name: Suzanne/Sue
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Feb 5, 2017 4:30 PM CST


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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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Feb 5, 2017 6:02 PM CST
Catalpa speciosa?

Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Feb 5, 2017 6:41 PM CST
Sure looks like a Catalpa tree to me. Not a bean plant. A tree. The so-called 'beans' are not edible.

There is a different type of Catalpa tree Catalpa ovata which is somewhat edible's not for me to decide who will eat which plants. Please never, never, never eat anything unless you have a positive identification from a local expert. Thank You!
Chinese Catalpa (Catalpa ovata)
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Feb 5, 2017 6:49 PM CST
I think the leaves are not as heart shaped as the tree? The beans look round, but the tree has flat like pods doesn't it? I think the leaves are too shiny compared to the pic of the catalpa. They may look different based on the maturity of the plant.
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
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Feb 5, 2017 7:48 PM CST
That's the common Northern Catalpa, unquestionably (Catalpa speciosa).

It has very obvious flowers in late spring/early summer.

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