"Wing Bean" i say to my Filipina girlfriends, prompting gales of laughter. "Pa-long" they correct me. We are talking about the same vegetable, of course. Goa Bean, Frilled bean, Asparagus Pea, Princess Bean, Four Winged Bean, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus if you want to get Latin about it, all different names for the same trendy little bean that has been growing in Hawaiian gardens for years.
Considering it's popularity in the garden, wing bean seeds are conspicuously absent on local seeds racks. If you want to grow them you'll have to make friends with a gardening auntie or uncle. 'Hunan' is a day length neutral variety that can be mail ordered from Echo and Baker's Creek but it doesn't seem to be well adapted to island gardens, at least not mine. These seeds are from a locally grown variety saved from last year's plants.
In Hawaii Wing Bean is a carefree crop that requires little more than a sunny, wind sheltered spot, ample watering, and a sturdy trellis to climb. Nick the seed and soak in water overnight to help speed germination. My seeds were sown in January, the vines have been flowering since March but are just setting beans now. In his book 'Growing Vegetables in Fiji', Kirk Dahlgren claims that vines can grow and produce for up to four years.