In their native tropics, the plant is a perennial. In cold areas, the roots can be dug up to be overwintered.
Painted Lady Beans have vines up to 8 to 10 feet (2 1/2 to 3 metres) long, and produces many blossoms, up to 20 on each runner.
The blossoms are scarlet red and white, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long.
The pods will grow up to 10 to 14 inches (25 to 36 cm) long; 65 to 80 days from seed.
When the pods are allowed to fully mature, the beans inside will be pinkish-brown.
Some suggest, though, that it is ideally harvested young as a green bean.
Painted Lady Beans were probably being grown in England in the 1600s as an ornamental, as other Runner Beans were.
They appear, though, to have been first recorded in writing by Jose Mariano da Conceicao Yelloso in 1790 in his posthumous “Flora Fluminense, ou descripao das plantas que nascem espontaneas no Rio de Janeiro.”