Prickly Caterpillar Bean - Scorpirius muracatus
If you have kids (or a sense of humor), this strange little bean belongs in your garden. An old French heirloom, Prickly Caterpillar Bean makes curly seed pods that look like your salad's been invaded.
Caterpillar Beans were grown in the 1880's as a curiosity, usually to surprise unsuspecting dinner guests. They were not meant to be eaten, (they're too prickly), but are harmless and quite amusing. Seeds are difficult to find, but it's time for a revival. Someone should send some to the Food Network.
The low-growing plants make a pretty ground cover with yellow blooms. It's a nitrogen fixer, grows in sun or shade, any soil, is no trouble. Guaranteed to be the best conversation piece in your garden.