Edibles – Grown On A Trellis

Q: I am looking to expand my options of annual vines to grow on a west facing trellis. My preferences lean toward edibles.

A: Malibar spinach, Basella rubra, is not a true spinach but its thick, fleshy, slightly-crinkled, heart-shaped leaves and tender young shoot tips can be harvested as they grow and used as a hot-weather spinach substitute, eaten raw or cooked. ‘Jacob’s Cattle’ bean sports mottled reddish-purple pods among glossy green leaves. Although I consider it only vaguely edible, hyacinth bean, Lablab purpureus, has eye-catching purple leaves and shiny purple pods.