Inga Bean is part of the family Leguminosae, nitrogen fixing plant. Nitrogen fixing bacteria form nodules on the plant roots providing the plant with nitrogen that they fix from the air. Known as the Ice Cream Bean tree.
Pods up to 1 metre long contain sweet, juicy, white pulp that has a soft cotton wool texture and tastes of vanilla ice-cream. "A delectable snack that comes in its own natural wrapper" which is loved by children. Can be eaten fresh or used as flavouring for desserts. Seeds can be cooked and eaten like a vegetable, in Mexico they roast and sell as a snack.
Plants are between 50-80cm tall.
Prefers a sunny site or partial shade.
A thirsty plant especially during spring-autumn
Will grow in poorer soils. They will even grow in a wide range of pH levels from 4.0 to 8.5. Inga Bean will handle some water logging and short drought periods.
Addition of organic matter or fertiliser will increase growth and yield. Old manure will work wonders
Frost tender but will tolerate brief frosts. If they are exposed to long frost periods the plant will die back but will come away in the spring. Most suited to warm temperate climates.
3-4 years from planting
Minimal pruning required to maintain desired shape and size. Remove dead or diseased branches.