Cucumber bean (Cyclanthera pedata)

 

Jaimie Sweetman is Head Gardener of the Edible Forest located on the Yarra Valley Estate in Dixons Creek. Tours of the Edible Forest, often led by Jaimie, take place on Fridays and Saturdays – read more and book your place on a future tour.

Cyclanthera pedate is an annual vine originating from South America.

I call it ‘cucumber bean’ as it tastes a little like both yet is actually neither!

The small fruits can be eaten straight off the vine, while older fruits need to be cooked.

The vine grows up to 4m long and thus requires a trellis of some sort. We grow it over our bean tunnel, which gives it almost a tropical look as well as creating shade in the heat of the summer.

The seeds are unusual and look almost like charcoal. They are best planted in Spring. At the Edible Forest, we collect and save the seeds each year and have some available for anyone wishing to try and grow this unique annual.

          

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