Nitrogen-fixing plant, up to one metre tall. For over-wintering. Sow September-November at 8.75 grams per sq. m.
Sometimes grown as a spring sown green manure, plants produce a good bulk and fix a large quantity of nitrogen.
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow it in situ from early to late spring. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.
Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil. Prefers a calcareous soil. Prefers a rich loamy soil. A light soil and a sheltered position is best for early sowings.
Seed - cooked or sprouted and eaten raw. A good source of protein. The seeds of this sub-species tend to be of poorer quality than the species, being less rich in sugars. They are grown mainly for use when mature and dried.
Young leaves - cooked.