The Plant Store is now closed for 2023 and will re-open for sales in May of 2024

  • Please see the Using the Plant Library  page  for some tips on how to make the most of the information here to select species for creating a healthy native plant community suited to the conditions of your site.

Strophostyles helvola, Trailing Wild Bean

Strophostyles helvola 

Trailing Wild Bean

  • Annual vine
  • Average to moderately wet or moderately dry soils 
  • Full sun 
  • 8’ Tall, Vine -Requires something to twine on
  • Mid to Late Summer blooms
  • Ontario native, Beginner Friendly, Annual thrives in Meadow, Sand Dune and Open Woodland ecosystems

A finer, more visually delicate version of a pole bean, these are vigorous twiners that could likely exceed 8’ in height in a growing season. Their delicate flowers begin to appear in mid summer, when they open pink and age to pale yellow, before fading away as the narrow pod of small beans develops. Reportedly edible as both as a green bean (pod) and at the mature stage (boiled or roasted seeds) these are also a host species for nitrogen fixing bacteria.

I planted them in a pot and provided a branch for them to climb on. They happily scrambled up, eventually twining themselves into the fake shutters on the south facing brick wall at the front of my house. They coexisted well with the Pennsylvania Smartweed that shared their pot and they attracted both pollinators, with their flowers, and predatory wasps with their extrafloral nectaries. If I had left the seed pods, rather than gathering the seeds this year, they would likely have been consumed by one species or another of critter as the fall and winter progressed.  

Trailing Wild Bean are a lovely, adaptable, native, annual species that I think would fit well into a lot of native and vegetable gardens, including ones in containers.

Species that were not sown / aren't being sown for 2023 are marked with an * 
Species that are native to this continent, but not historically native to Ontario are marked with a ~ 
While it rarely comes up, I do reserve the right to limit plant quantities, mostly to help ensure that as many native plant gardens as possible become a reality