Fridays Seeds and much more about the fuzzy wild bean – Strophostyles

I wanted something special for this arctic day and the woolly seeds of Strophostyles helvola are just perfect; I will stress again the woolly :)

Strophostyles helvola coiled pods and seeds

Strophostyles helvola, trailing wild bean (or amberique bean)  is an annual vine native to eastern Canada and the US; the pea-like flowers are light pink/lilac and they form pods very similar with those of Phaseolus vulgaris; the pod coils when it dries up to release 4-8 woolly  seeds.
The stems will trail on other plants, or if not, will inter-twine with each other on the ground, just like Amphicarpaea bracteata does (google images).

This species has had various medicinal uses for the Native Peoples, and there are also indications that the seeds were used as a food source; they were found in a few archeological sites in NA.

Those interested can read more about this in the curriculum of the Advanced Paleoethnobotany Seminar from Washington University:

And, while talking wild foods, it’s winter so new ideas are always welcomed – have a look at this article which recommends other edible species found on the coastal habitat (same where Strophostyles can also be found):

What about: amberique-bean humus with cattails au gratin?
Go foraging this year! :))

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