Growing Asparagus Pea, also Winged bean

Lotus tetragonobolus : Fabaceae / the pea or legume family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                  P P P

(Best months for growing Asparagus Pea in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 59°F and 68°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 10 inches apart
  • Harvest in 8-11 weeks. Pick early, pick often.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best grown in separate bed
  • Asparagus Pea plant ( - Magnus Manske - CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • Pod and flower

This low spreading plant has small trifoliate leaves, and deep crimson flowers are borne in pairs. Harvest pods when approximately 2.5 cm (1 in) long. ( about 80 days)

Asparagus pea is easy to cultivate. It needs average moisture, full sun, and ordinary soil.

It needs a long growing season to flower and fruit properly, so start it indoors in cooler areas.

Only the pods are edible for Lotus tetragonobolus.

Not to be confused with the other asparagus pea, the tropical plant Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, also known as Goa bean.

Support with twigs to keep the stems off the ground. Protect from slugs and snails. Pick pods when small as they become hard and dry if left too long.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Asparagus Pea

Cook quickly by steaming and serve with just a touch of butter and they are said to taste like their namesake .

Your comments and tips

30 Sep 22, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Michelle, I purchased my plant from Kahikatea Farm in the Hawkes Bay.
27 Aug 22, Michelle (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Where can I buy Aspargus pea seeds in NZ to grow
31 Aug 22, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Try Egmont Seeds
12 Oct 18, Robbie (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi, could I grow Psophocarpus tetragonolobus in Ashburton outdoors? if not should I grow them in the greenhouse? Thanks
15 Oct 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It is normally grown in hot humid areas so if you like try the green house.
18 Dec 21, Lauren (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I grow them outdoors here in Dunedin they do really well, but the ones in my tunnel house are much faster
24 Apr 17, peter woods (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Can I grow the same wing bean bulb two years in a row or do I have to harvest from new seed every year ? We are in Tauranga. Thanks for your time.
25 Apr 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Winged beans are perennial and will regrow in the spring. To harvest the seed you need to wait until the pods are full ripe which will be late in the season. As they can be very strong growers some people pinch the tip out after about the 12th leaf. This will cause the plant to send out side shoots.
13 May 15, Victor Lal (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Where can I buy winged bean /Goa bean seeds in New Zealand
26 Dec 18, Michaelangelo design (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi I have only just found your mail ... if you haven't already found a supplier try Kings Seeds at Katikati. Mine are growing well in red Beach near Orewa. Best wishes
Showing 1 - 10 of 13 comments

Ask a question or post a comment or advice about Asparagus Pea

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply

All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put GardenGrow in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 60,000+ gardeners who already use GardenGrow and subscribe to the free GardenGrow planting reminders email newsletter.

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.