Despite the name, the pods are actually only about half a yard long; the subspecies name sesquipedalis (one-and-a-half-foot-long) is a rather exact approximation of the pods' length. This plant is of a different genus than the common bean. It is a vigorous climbing annual vine. A variety of the cowpea, it is grown primarily for its strikingly long (35-75 cm) immature pods and has uses very similar to that of a green bean. The pods, which begin to form just 60 days after sowing, hang in pairs. They are best if picked for vegetable use before they reach full maturity. The plant is subtropical/tropical and most widely grown in the warmer parts of Southeastern Asia, Thailand, and Southern China. Yardlong beans are quick-growing and daily checking/harvesting is often a necessity.
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