Home / Promptuary / Legumes & Beans / Winged Beans

Winged Beans

The winged bean is a herbaceous perennial legume plant that is sometimes grown as an annual in some places. It grows as a vine with its climbing stems and ovate, deltoid, ovate-lanceolate, lanceolate, or long lanceolate leaves. Typically, the stem is green, although it is not uncommon to see a winged bean plant with a purple stem. Currently, the full extent of what the winged bean can do or provide remains unknown save for what is already established by scientists and nutritionists and practiced today.

Classification Information:
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Psophocarpus
Species: P. tetragonolobus
Binomial Name: Psophocarpus tetragonolobus

Winged Beans Trivia

  • The winged bean plant goes by other names such as goa bean, four-angled bean, four-cornered bean, manila bean, princess bean, cigarrillas, asparagus bean, and dragon bean.
  • The flowers of the winged bean are used to color rice and pastry. 
  • Dried and ground seeds can be used as flour. When brewed, it can be used to make a drink similar to coffee.
  • Winged beans can also be made into milk, similar to soy milk.
  • Winged beans are used as animal feed for cattle, poultry, fish, and other livestock.

Winged Beans Buying Guide

While almost everything in a winged bean plant is edible, what you can usually find in the market are pods and tubers. When buying, check if the winged bean pods have any discoloration (yellowish or brownish). This could be caused by disease, storage and handling, or the state of freshness of the pod. As for the tubers, it is normal to see this still with dirt on it especially if buying in a farm stand or farmers market.

Winged Beans Production & Farming in Texas

Winged beans prefer hot, humid locations. It is best if winged beans are grown where the temperature is around 25 °C. This is why winged beans are abundant in the equatorial countries of South and Southeast Asia. Winged bean plants grow best in soil with a pH ranging from 4.3 to 7.5. But this is not to say that winged beans are not adaptable because they are. Even in places where there is heavy rainfall, winged beans will still grow. As long as the water drains, there is no problem. But if the plant suffers from moisture stress and waterlogging, this could pose a problem for the winged bean plant. If you are thinking of planting winged beans, consider the fact that winged beans are also an effective cover crop. This plant helps suppress weed growth. The winged bean plant is also used as a restorative crop. A nutrient-poor soil gets the nitrogen it needs when the winged bean plants are turned over into the soil.

Texas is divided and classified into five gardening regions in relation to the USDA Hardiness Zone. For Zone 6 (Amarillo) and Zone 7 (Lubbock and El Paso), the ideal time to sow seeds is in April. For Zone 8 (Dallas, Waco, Bryan College Station, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio), the ideal time to sow seeds is from April to May. For Zone 9A (Corpus Christi and Larado) and 9B (McAllen), the ideal time to sow seeds is from March to April.


Pest is not a problem if you are growing winged bean plants. But it is important to be on the lookout for diseases that typically affect winged bean plants, like leaf spot and powdery mildew. To treat powdery mildew, use copper fungicide or sulfur plant fungicide. For leaf spot, use sulfur sprays or copper-based fungicides to prevent the spores from germinating.


Botanists theorized that the origin of the winged bean is most likely New Guinea. According to researchers Shuyi Yang, Aurélie Grall, and Mark A. Chapman, who published the article “Origin and diversification of winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC.), a multipurpose underutilized legume” in 2018 in the American Journal of Botany, “The true wild progenitor of winged bean remains unknown (or is extinct). There has likely been large-scale cross-breeding, trade, and transport of winged bean and/or multiple origins of the crop.”

Today, winged bean plants are abundant in Southeast Asia and Papua New Guinea. It is intensively cultivated in Burma and India (where it was introduced in 1799). It has been introduced in Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, West Africa, and the West Indies.


You can buy freshly-harvested winged beans sold in a plastic clamshell container or on a styrofoam tray covered in plastic wrap. Seeds are sold in packets.

Enjoying Winged Beans

All parts of the winged bean plant are edible. The leaves are eaten like how you would eat spinach, while the flowers of the winged beans can be used when making salads. In some cultures, they eat the tubers of winged beans either raw or cooked. Finally, the seeds can be used similarly as you would a soybean. If you are eating wing beans, you can recognize the somewhat sweet taste similar to peas. There is also a taste similar to asparagus. Winged beans are crunchy when chewed.


Put the winged leaves inside a resealable plastic bag or wrap it in a paper cloth or towel and put it inside the refrigerator. This will keep it fresh for several days. You can also use a freezer bag to freeze it in the refrigerator.


Winged beans are usually sautéed with ground or small cuts of meat or stir-fried. It is also cooked in coconut milk. Winged beans, sliced very thinly or lightly blanched, are used in making a salad. Some soup and stew recipes include winged bean pods. Young winged bean pods are also pickled.

It is important to cook winged bean seeds for two to three hours. This way, the trypsin inhibitors and hemagglutinins are destroyed. Trypsin inhibitors and hemagglutinins are bad for digestion.

Nutritional Benefits:

Winged beans are rich in nutrients. The winged bean plant contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. The tubers are 20% protein, and in comparison to other root vegetables, winged bean tubers have more protein. The leaves, flowers, and seeds also contain protein.



  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 147 7%
  • Carbs: 14.9g 5%
  • Sugar: 0g 0%
  • Fiber: 0g 0%
  • Protein: 10.6g 21%
  • Fat: 5.8g 9%
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8g 4%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 249mg 10%
  • Vitamin C 0mg 0%
  • Vitamin A 0IU 0%
  • Calcium 142mg 14%
  • Iron 4.3mg 24%
  • Potassium 280mg 8%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 2%
  • Folate 10mcg 2%
  • Magnesium 54mg 14%
  • Phosphorus 153mg 15%
  • Manganese 1.2mg 60%
  • Copper 0.8mg 39%
  • Zinc 1.4mg 10%

Buy farmfresh Winged Beans from local family farms and ranches in texas

Check availability in your area

No delivery available
Free pickup available


Advertise on this site.