Growing Asparagus Pea, also Winged bean

Lotus tetragonobolus : Fabaceae / the pea or legume family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

(Best months for growing Asparagus Pea in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 15°C and 20°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 25 cm apart
  • Harvest in 8-11 weeks. Pick early, pick often.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best grown in separate bed
  • Asparagus Pea plant ( - Magnus Manske - CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • Pod and flower

This low spreading plant has small trifoliate leaves, and deep crimson flowers are borne in pairs. Harvest pods when approximately 2.5 cm (1 in) long. ( about 80 days)

Asparagus pea is easy to cultivate. It needs average moisture, full sun, and ordinary soil.

It needs a long growing season to flower and fruit properly, so start it indoors in cooler areas.

Only the pods are edible for Lotus tetragonobolus.

Not to be confused with the other asparagus pea, the tropical plant Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, also known as Goa bean.

Support with twigs to keep the stems off the ground. Protect from slugs and snails. Pick pods when small as they become hard and dry if left too long.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Asparagus Pea

Cook quickly by steaming and serve with just a touch of butter and they are said to taste like their namesake .

Your comments and tips

23 Apr 09, Jackie (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have never heard of Asparagus Pea. Can anyone tell me where to buy seeds?
03 May 09, steve gow (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in Adelaide South Australia I would like to buy seeds and have been looking for quite a while. Thompson & morgan are apparently now no longer available
28 May 09, Bill Martin (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Also known as the Winged bean, Goa Bean or Asparagus Pea (Psophocarpus or Lotus tetragonolobus) of Southeast Asia often called the 'supermarket on a stalk'; almost the whole plant can be eaten. – The leaves taste like spinach; – the sautéed flowers like mushrooms; – the young pods are like green beans; – the young seeds are like peas; – the tubers are richer in protein than potato, yam or cassava; they can be boiled, fried, baked or roasted. – the mature seeds are like soya beans and also yield oil; they can be ground into flour and even liquefied into a beverage tasting like coffee (with no caffeine). – The leaves can be dried and rolled into low-tar, low-nicotine cigarettes; – As a leguminous plant it has nitrogen-fixing nodules in the roots - great for the garden rotation.
01 Jul 09, Susan (Australia - temperate climate)
Any ideas on getting the seeds/ or tubers. Have already tried Diggers club
02 Aug 09, Dru (Australia - temperate climate)
Have just ordered some seeds from e seeds in UK, they ship internationally but do not know if they will arrive Will post if they do
03 Aug 09, Trish (Australia - temperate climate)
I got asparagus seeds from organic shop in Adelaide Central Market. happy to mail some if anyone can't get hold. My question is I now have fragile looking seedlings in my mini greenhouse. they are just single stems. when are they strong enough to plant out. would well manured soil be too strong for the new roots? thanks
04 Aug 09, Lilly (Australia - temperate climate)
Trish, will you post me some asparagus seeds?
04 Aug 09, Jimmy (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi would love some if you have any spares...
07 Aug 09, Trish (Australia - temperate climate)
oops sorry didn't realise i posted in Asparagus Pea - didn't know such a thing existed. my ? should be under Asparagus. however Lilly and Jimmy I'm happy to check out of can get Asparagus Pea for you. would like to try myself. not sure how we swap email addresses on this site.
08 Aug 09, Sandra (New Zealand - temperate climate)
You can buy asparagus peas with the scientific name of Tetragonolobus purpureus from King Seeds in New Zealand ( I assume this is the same thing? I ordered a bunch last week and they were here witnin 3 or 4 days.
Showing 1 - 10 of 120 comments

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