Blue Bean Plant Information You Need to Know

This post provides information about Blue Bean Plant Information at Great Escape Farms.

Blue Bean Plant Information at Great Escape Farms

Blue Bean Plant Information at Great Escape Farms

Blue Bean (Decaisnea fargesii), also known as Blue Sausage Fruit and Dead Man’s Fingers, is a unique plant that grows blue fruit that looks like a bean or sausage or a dead man’s finger. This small tree or shrub from the Himalayas and Western China generally grows 8 to 10 foot tall but may get up to 25 feet tall.

The Blue Bean is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10 and likes full sun to partial shade. This plant dislikes drought and new growth can be damaged by late frosts. The tree resembles a small black walnut with leaves that are pinnate to three feet long, with 13-25 leaflets, each leaflet up to six inches long and four inches wide.  The Blue Bean usually does not require pruning.

Blue Bean flowers in late spring or early summer with each flower having a greenish-yellow color.  The flowers have six sepals and no petals and are hermaphrodite, so the plant is self-fertile.

Fruit

Blue Bean Pod with Pulp

Blue Bean Pod with Pulp

The fruit ripens in September or October.  The fruit looks like a bright blue sausage and has a white, juicy phlegm-like or gelatinous-like pulp. The seeds are not eaten, only the pulp around the seeds.  The pulp has a bland to very sweet flavor with some saying it has a watermelon taste.

Propagation

Propagation works well with seeds and cuttings.  Online sources claim that 30 to 90 days of cold stratification is needed.  The seeds I bought this year said to scarify as well.  I bought quite a few seeds and I’m doing the following to see what works best: plant seeds straight in the soil, scarify only, scarify and cold stratify for 30, 60 and 90 days.  I’ll post my results later in the spring.

Edible

Blue Bean on a Tree

Blue Bean on a Tree

The edible part of Blue Bean is the Jelly-like pulp eat raw out of hand.  Do not eat the seeds.

Medicinal

No information found online.

Recipe

None found online.

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4 Comments

  • Hi Todd. I have alot of the blue bean seeds and was wondering how your experience turned out. Which way would you recomment for starting the seeds? Thank You. I enjoy your site.
    Thank You Lorna

    • Todd McCree says:

      Hi Lorna, I had zero success with the blue beans. I planted the entire pack and had none germinate. I also bought two plants two years ago. One of the plants died within a few weeks and the other struggled through the summer and died over winter. I have just not had good luck with them.

  • Colleen Jury says:

    I have an older specimen that has been in a nursery pot north of Seattle near Lake Washington (USDA Zone 8) for many years. I bought it from an elderly plantsman who had several specimens and I had seen it blooming in his nursery. I’ve had it in the same small pot for at least 4 years and it’s now about 10 feet tall, with about 5 small vertical branches right at the last 2.5′. It has had leaves every year, but never blooms. I just repotted it into a large ceramic pot (big enough so the tall thing doesn’t tip it over in a stiff wind), and I expect it will take a few years to settle into this pot before it blooms again. It seems to take neglect fairly well, I hope I haven’t bolloxed it up completely by planting it in better soil, unfurling the roots, and giving it a bit of fertilizer.

  • Jenny says:

    Thanks. … what happens if you eat the seeds?

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