Horse BeanHORSE BEAN (Faba vulgaris Moench.)
Botanical description:Horse Bean is an annual plant which generally reaches a height of from two to three feet. It grows strictly upright and is neither winding like beans nor climbing like peas and vetches. The leaves are composed of from one to three pairs of large broad leaflets. They have no tendrils. The flowers are borne in clusters, two to five together. They are large and showy, white with two large deep purple or black spots. The pods, which are sometimes as much as five inches long, enclose five or six large seeds separated from each other by a soft, spongy tissue.
History: Horse Bean is an old agricultural plant, the origin of which is not known. It is said to be a native of Persia but the evidence is not conclusive. It was grown in central Europe thousands of years before the Christian era, and large quantities of seed have been found in excavations at Troy. It is still of some importance in southern and central Europe, England and Egypt, but is being gradually replaced by other legumes.