Fast growing bean plants include a variety of shapes and sizes that produce both edible and inedible beans. Whether you are searching for a bean plant that will quickly ascend a trellis or a stand-alone, individual pop of color with the added visual interest of beans and vivid foliage, the wide variety of fast growing bean plants will suit your garden's needs.
Castor Bean Plant
Castor bean plants (Rincinus communis), also referred to as castor oil plant or palma christi, display multi-lobed, pointed leaves; foliage is green or vivid red to purple with inconspicuous, clustered flowers. Male flowers are white while female flowers are pink. Female flowers yield bean pods that measure 1/2 to 1 inch in length; once mature, three beans emerge from the pod in the following melange of colors: maroon, white, brown, yellow/brown, black and gray. Nearly half of the full weight of the castor bean plant's seeds is composed of castor oil, a widely used lubricant and folk medicine used in automobiles, inks and as a laxative. Due to the high toxicity of chemicals within castor oil, do not consume any part of the plant; the protein called ricin found in a single castor bean is fatal to humans and animals. Growing very fast in full sunlight, castor bean plants prefer well-drained soil rich in nutrients. Castor bean plants reach a height of 10 to 40 feet, according to the Union County College Biology Department.
Hyacinth Bean Plant
Hyacinth bean plants (Lablab purpureus) is an annual vine with a fast growth rate that displays white or purple flowers from the summer season through early fall and purple bean pods measuring 2 1/2 inches in length with an iridescent appearance, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. Thriving in full sunlight, hyacinth bean plants prefer well-drained soil rich in nutrient content. For successful reblooming, simply keep this bean plant under proper care. A climbing vine, hyacinth bean plants will ascend structures such as trellises or fences. The bean of this plant is edible, but its raw form contains poisonous toxins; boil the beans twice, the second time in a fresh pot of water, for safe consumption. Hyacinth bean vines grow to a height of 20 feet within one growing season.
Beach Bean Plant
Beach bean plants (Canavalia maritima), also known as bay beans, are plants used as ground cover with tiny purple to pink blossoms that bloom throughout the year, evergreen leaves and brown bean pods. Often found in coastal areas, the fast growing beach bean plant is so named due to its tolerance to salt, drought and wind. Thriving in full sunlight, beach bean plants prefer well-drained soil but tolerates acid or alkaline, sandy and loam soils types. Occasionally a climber of low heights, this bean plant is a low-spreading cover that reaches a height of 6 to 12 inches, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. For edibility, remove the outer casing of the beans and boil remaining beans before consumption.