Bad, bad bushbean

Its deep maroon flowers are beautiful and belie its familial relationships. Clearly a member of the (sweet) pea family, Fabaceae, wild bush bean (Macroptilium lathryoidies) is a perennial weed of the southern U.S.,the Caribbean, and central America. Phasey bean is another name for this invasive pest plant listed by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council.

Its flower are large (1″ wide) as the genus name Macroptilium indicates (macro = large, ptilon = feather). Lathryus, from which its species name lathryoides, is derived means pea in Greek.

With the recent rainfall and warm temperatures, this weed has grown amazing swiftly at the (Pelican Island) Audubon House in multiple places.
This ‘beauty’ harbors yellow mosaic virus, passionfruit woodiness vine virus, mosaic Puerto Rico virus, so it is not a ‘friend’ to your vegetable garden. Remove this invasive weed from your yard before it sets seeds, if you can, to prevent its further spread.

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