Life cycle of a broad bean seed

Written by mara shannon
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Life cycle of a broad bean seed
Broad beans are a nutritious food. (akiyoko/iStock/Getty Images)

Broad beans -- also called fava beans in some countries -- are named for their large, flat, round seeds, which come in a variety of colours. The beans can be eaten fresh or dried, or planted to produce new bean plants.

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Seed development

Broad bean plants take four to five months to grow. During this time, the bean seeds develop in large green pods 5 to 30 cm (2 to 12 inches) long.

Planting

Broad beans should be planted in cold weather in shallow soil -- about 5 cm (2 inches) deep. When the bean is watered, the shell softens, allowing nutrients to feed the growing plant.

Roots

As the plant begins to grow, the seed splits open, and roots develop to anchor the bean plant in the soil.

Sprouting

Once the roots are secure, the broad bean seed will sprout, producing a stem and leaves above ground. Both the roots and the stem will continue to grow.

Maturation

The broad bean seed will eventually grow into a leafy plant about 60 to 150 cm (2 to 5 feet) high. It will produce bean pods, which should be picked while they are still green.

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