Long Bean—an Asian Vegetable Emerging in Florida
Food diversity, nutritional food supply, and profitability are the priorities of agricultural and horticultural industries. To diversify vegetable products and increase the Florida vegetable industry’s competitiveness, several new vegetable crops are rapidly emerging in the state. For example, there are more than 40 Asian vegetable crops, such as luffa (Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem), shalihon (Brassica juncea (L.) Czern), and tahn ho (Chrysanthemum coronarium L.), grown across Florida. Due to Florida’s favorable climate, these vegetable crops grow well and have high market potential. The objective of this article is to provide a general overview on one of the Asian vegetable crops grown in Florida, long bean.
Long bean (Vigna unguiculata subs. sesquipedalis, Family: Fabaceae) is a leguminous vegetable crop with climbing vines that produce long pods consumed as a cooked vegetable. It is a popular crop in Asian countries such as in China. The subspecies name, “sesquipedalis,” means “one-and-half-foot long” and is an approximation of the pod length. It is also known as asparagus bean, Chinese long bean, long-podded cowpea, and yardlong bean. Long bean is called as bora, bodi, pea bean, and snake bean. This vigorous annual crop is a member of the genus Vigna, which is different from the common bean, which belongs to the genus Phaseolus.