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Fava beans, a cool season plant, performs best in either the spring or the fall. They are quite robust and can grow to three feet high, producing many large pods which are best eaten shelled.

Latin Name

Vicia faba



Also Known As

Broad bean Horse bean

Type of Plant

Annuals Annuals
Vegetables Vegetables


Fall Fall
Spring Spring


Max height Max Height: 3'
Max spread Max Spread: 2'


  • Annual
  • Edible
  • Vegetable

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun


    Native Range

    Northern Africa and southern Asia


    Of the broad, or "horse" bean, Jefferson wrote John Taylor, 29 Dec. 1794, “The President has tried it without success.” It is possible that Washington's failure was due to the hot Virginia summers, which this bean cannot tolerate.

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Lower Garden Slave Cabin Garden

  • Lower Garden
  • Slave Cabin Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

    USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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