www.zinnysworld.com    Copyright 2000-2015 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved. Baybean Canavalia rosea

The Baybean, also known as the Beach Bean and Coastal Jack-bean, is a low-growing, perennial vine.  It is a member of the Pea family (Fabaceae).  It is found on beaches, dunes, and coastal sites in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.  In the U.S., It is found along the coasts in southern California, southern Texas, and central and south Florida.

This plant has thick, fleshy stems that can grow to a length of 20 feet or longer.  The bright green compound leaves are divided into three large leaflets that are oblong in shape.  They can range from 2.5 to 4 inches long  and 2 to 3 inches wide.  They are alternately attached to a spreading branched stem.

The flowers appear in a spike cluster 3 to 8 inches long.  The purplish-pink, pea-like flowers are 1.5 to 2 inches long.  They have two lips and a white throat.  They bloom year round.  These flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies.

Seed pods, containing marbled brown seeds, are produced that are 5 to 6 inches long.  The pods and seeds are toxic unless cooked.

The images on this page were taken along the shore of a beach in Ponce de Leon Park in Punta Gorda.

The distribution maps for the Baybean are from the Plants Database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).