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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

yard long beans

Other Common Names Include: Asparagus Bean, Snake Bean, Chinese Long Bean, Long-Podded Cowpea

Latin Name:  Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis

Plant Family: Fabaceae

Close Relatives: cowpeas, edamame, common bean, peas, soybeans

Uses and Markets: Culinary (e.g. used as a cooked vegetable alone or in stir-fries and stews). Primarily used in South-east Asian cuisines. Young leaves and stems are occasionally used as a cooked vegetable.

Green Noodle cultivar of yard long beanLong Noodle cultivar of yard long beanRed Noodle cultivar of yard long beanYard long bean flower

Developing fruit



Hardiness Zone


Special Notes


Propagation method

Direct seeding

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:

After danger of frost has passed.

Field Transplanting Dates


In-row spacing

15-40 cm

Between row spacing

60-150 cm

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions. Yard long beans can fix their own nitrogen but should be inoculated with Bradyrhizobium if they have not been grown on a site before. Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Moist, well-drained soil; all soil types.

Soil pH


Special requirements for growth habit

Staking or trellising is required for long and straight fruits and ease of harvest.

Optimal Temperature Range


Temperature sensitivity

Frost sensitive

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation is beneficial under normal Ontario conditions.

Days to harvest

60-80 days, depending on variety.

Specialized equipment:


Harvest Scheduling

Multiple harvests from the same planting.

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Hand harvest.

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades. Quality is determined by the market. Different ethnic groups prefer different stages of maturity.

Additional Harvest Notes

Harvest pods every one to three days, depending on air temperatures. Pods are usually sold in bundles tied at the stem end.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing


Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): 90-95%

Temperature: 4-7°C; lower temperatures can cause fruit injury

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: 7-14 days

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates: Leafhoppers, stink bugs



Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Mexican bean beetle, bean leaf beetle, two-spotted spider mites, European corn borer, aphids

Diseases: Damping off and root rots, bacterial blights (brown spot, common blight, halo blight), white mold (Sclerotinia), anthracnose, viruses

*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions.


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: leafhoppers.  Leafhoppers can have very severe impacts on yield of this crop.  This plant is in the legume family and most pests of cultivated beans and cowpea in Ontario are potential pests of yard long beans, although its susceptibility may differ. This crop is in Crop Group 6: Legume Vegetables (Succulent or Dried) and subgroup 6A: Edible-Podded Legume Vegetables Subgroup. For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist.

Leafhopper feeding on yard long bean causes a triangular yellowing/browning on the leaf edge, known as “hopperburn”Severe leafhopper feeding can cause stunting and yield reductions in yard long bean
Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile
  1. Bilal, A. and M. Brownbridge. 2011-2012. World crops project. Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, unpublished.
  2. Elford, E., Filotas, M., Todd, J., and S. Westerveld. 2009. Non-traditional crops demonstration garden. OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre, unpublished.
  3. Elford, E., Filotas, M., Todd, J., Westerveld, S., Bilal, A., and M. Brownbridge. 2011. World crops variety trials and demonstration. OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre/Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, unpublished.
  1. . Munro, D.B. and E. Small. 1997. Vegetables of Canada. NRC Research Press, Ottawa.