Shirohana-mame – White Flower Beans

This is one bean you probably won’t find in your store. The white beans are huge and delicious. Called Shirohana Mame 白花豆 in Japan, the name means White Flower Bean. The beans get that name from the beautiful white flowers of the bean plant.


I’ve been growing this bean for a number of years, and this year I am planting 3,000 of them. I may even have some left over this fall if you would like to try them. The beans are a runner bean, Phaseolus cockiness, and grow on long vines. They are originally from Central America. In Japan they are cultivated where summers are cool in the mountain valleys of Nagano, Gifu, Tohoku and Hokkaido.

They aren’t a bean whose cultivation can be mechanized, which means they require a lot of hands-on work to grow. You have to grow them on poles and pick them by hand. This isn’t the type of food normal food channels want to deal with. So you’re left to find small farmers growing them with a lot of love. I don’t know of anyone in the US growing them on a large scale. By the time I have my 3,000 beans growing, I may have the largest Shirohana Mame field in the country. I’ll let you know this fall how mine did.

12 Replies to “Shirohana-mame – White Flower Beans”

  1. Hello, do you have any extra of Shirohana-mame beans to sell this year? If so how much for how many beans? Also I live in zone 7 in NM, but some web sites say its zone 8 so not sure all I know it is very hot here so would these grow if I planted them early before it gets to hot? I really want to grow them so bad. Thank you so much for your time.

  2. I am making shiroan (bean paste for desert), which is traditionally made with shirohana mame. Do you have a pound or a few pounds to sell? I have no green thumb, so having a few seeds (and wait for a year!) is not really going to work for me. Thank you!

  3. Hello again, I hope doing well. Are you still growing shirohana beans? I was so happy when I recieved the beans from you, but you were right it is just to hot here to grow them. I really want to try them and see what they taste like, do you sell them by the pound for just eating?
    Thank you so much for your time. Sincerely

  4. Hi there! I stumbled accross you posts while searching for information on the white flower bean. This is a pretty old post but do you have any bean seeds still available?


  5. I was looking at white giant bean recipes and found this site. Do you still grow these beans and if so is there a way to buy some in anticipation of a 2nd quarantine/fall 2020?? These beans look like it could feed a family for a long time if stored proper. Thank you.

  6. Thank you for inquiring about the Shirohana Mame – White Flower Beans. I’m sorry, but I don’t grow enough to sell. I just grow enough to have some and keep some seeds over for next year.

Leave a Reply