The Vicia faba also known as broad bean, it is a annual plant of straight growth which has a well developed root system.
The flowers of the broad beans are axillary that grow in groups of short racemes that have between 2-8 flowers; the same have a characteristic oversized spot on their petals of a purple or black hue.
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Fava bean characteristics
After fertilized, its fruit is born, which consists of a legume of variable length that in some cases, it exceeds 30 cm and inside it has 4 to 10 seeds. These seeds are yellowish-green in color when they reach maturity and are usually more or less dark depending on the variety to which they belong.
Types of beans
There are different kinds of beans and the same They can be classified into three groups according to the size of the pod, such as long-pod beans, intermediate-pod beans, and dwarf-pod beans. In turn, these 3 groups have numerous kinds of beans and all of them have their own characteristics.
Among the best known or most cultivated are the following:
It is a variety that is intended not only for green consumption, but also for grain; the seeds of broad beans (grenadine) are usually large and have a fairly light hue. They have a much more limited production when compared with the other varieties grown in Spain, however, it is the variety that better withstands cold climates.
La Aguadulce or Seville
It consists of a precocious variety that has plants one meter high.
The stems of the Aguadulce are usually robust and do not have branches and on the back, its leaves have gray-green leaflets. The fruits of this variety are large pods and hanging habit that reaches about 30 cm in length, each pod has 5-9 seeds and its vegetative cycle from the moment of sowing, until the seed reaches maturity. find around 200-220 days.
Mahón white and purple
This is usually the variety of broad beans that best withstands periods of droughtHowever, it is the most sensitive to cold weather.
The white and purple Mahón are intended for human consumption and also for livestock. By having optimal soil and humidity conditions, this variety can reach a size that exceeds one meter in height; Its pods are narrow, grow semi-erect and have between 5-6 seeds, and it does not have a great predisposition to tillering.
It is the most well-known variety of beans, as well as being the most cultivated in Spain, since it has its origin in Alicante.
The Muchamiel It is an early variety that is destined for greening; Its plant is tall, it has white flowers with some black spots. The pods of this variety are not usually too long so they measure around 15-20cm and contain between 3-7 grains.
In Muchamiel, a town in Alicante, this variety is also called "Quarantine", due to that are sown in mid-September and after 40 days, they are completely fit to be consumed. The vegetative cycle of the Muchamiel until reaching the maturity of the seeds is around 190-200 days, in addition it is usually one of the most recommended varieties for urban gardens.
Practical advice on fava beans
It is an undemanding plant when it comes to fertilizers, however it requires a adequate supply of potassium and phosphorus.
Its sowing must be carried out directly on the ground, in lines and sowing three seeds at the same time. Early sowing in the Mediterranean area tends to turn green at the end of the year, providing quite premature bean varieties, such as the so-called Autumn Light and Quarantine.