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PlantFiles: Fenugreek
Trigonella foenum-graecum

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Trigonella (try-go-NEL-uh) (Info)
Species: foenum-graecum (FEN-um GRAY-kum) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

41 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By evr
Thumbnail #1 of Trigonella foenum-graecum by evr

By Zaragoza
Thumbnail #2 of Trigonella foenum-graecum by Zaragoza

By vossner
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By vossner
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2 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral DannyJoe On Apr 7, 2013, DannyJoe from York, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

What is a sieve bean?
China markets a "sieve bean" that looks a lot like Fenugreek (seed and plant).
Are there any beans (been seeds) that look like Fenugreek seed?
If not, then might want to add "Asian Sieve Bean" to alternate names.

Neutral vossner On Jan 9, 2013, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

There is extensive literature extolling the benefits of fenugreek, which include: increasing male libido, reducing risk of liver cancer, increasing production in lactating women and ameliorating symptoms in types I and II diabetes. All fine and great but no solid scientific evidence yet. The flavor of the leaves is sweetish. Great for juicing as it blends very well with other fruits and veggies. Also, a popular component in Indian cuisine. In the Houston area, the actual plant is found in ethnic supermarkets. The seeds, which are also edible, can be purchased dried at health food stores.

Very important to wash thoroughly before consuming. E. coli associated deaths were reported in 2011 in Europe and Asia. Rating it neutral as I don't grow it in my garden but I have eaten it and if I find fresh seeds (haven't yet) would grow a little patch in my garden.

Positive CurtisJones On Apr 16, 2008, CurtisJones from Longmont, CO wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests: Ready for something a little more exotic? Fenugreek sprouts, leaves, or ground seeds add a subtle spicy flavor to salads, sandwiches, and Indian cuisine. Widely grown in India, this 24" tall member of the legume family with the unusual name is one of the oldest cultivated spices in civilization! A common component of curry powder, the seeds have a warm, nutty, spicy flavor reminiscent of celery or maple.

Neutral dmj1218 On May 2, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

An extract of fenugreek was probably used by early Egyptians in the mummification process. Not as commonly grown in the south as other herbs but is probably one of the oldest cultivated plants. The sweet maple taste is often detectable in curry powder and is used in the United States for artificial maple candies and syrups. Easily grown in the south from seed in early spring. It grows to 2 feet producing yellowish-white flowers. Matures rapidly to seed in the south. Use the sprouted seeds in salads for added nutrition and flavor.

Neutral trifunov On Oct 28, 2004, trifunov from Brandon, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

According to Botanica's "Organic Gardening" book fenugreek is a semi-hardy annual which matures in 2-3 months. It should be planted from early spring to late summer. It can be used as a cover crop/ green manure and is an excellent nitrogen-fixer. The seeds are one of the main ingredients in curry powder and the leaves are also useful as a culinary herb.

Positive smiln32 On Aug 31, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

The name comes from Foenum-graecum, meaning Greek Hay, the plant being used to scent inferior hay. The name of the genus, Trigonella, is derived from the old Greek name, denoting 'three-angled,' from the form of its corolla. The seeds of Fenugreek have been used medicinally all through the ages and were held in high repute among the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for medicinal and culinary purposes.

Fenugreek is much used in herbal medicine, especially in North Africa, the Middle East and India. It has a wide range of medicinal applications. The seeds are very nourishing and are given to convalescents and to encourage weight gain, especially in anorexia nervosa. The seeds should not be prescribed medicinally for pregnant women since they can induce uterine contractions. Research has shown that the seeds can inhibit cancer of the liver, lower blood cholesterol levels and also have an antidiabetic effect.

Neutral mystic On Aug 18, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

An erect two to three foot tall annual herb with light green leaves and small white flowers. The seed pods contain ten to twenty small, flat, yellow-brown, pungent, aromatic seeds to a pod. The seeds have a strong aroma and somewhat bitter taste, variously described as similar to celery, maple syrup, or burnt sugar.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Los Angeles, California
Longmont, Colorado
York, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Mcallen, Texas

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