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What are sea beans?

by Visit Corpus Christi Texas

Sea beans are seeds and seed pods from tropical plants that float the world’s oceans for years before appearing at the Padre Island National Seashore. They come in all shapes and sizes and make for an excellent beachcombing activity.

These sea beans or drift seeds float very well and may ride the tides for years before finally coming to rest on shore. According to the Padre Island National Seashore magazine The Gulf Breeze, sea beans have been the subject of folklore and have gained reputations for remedies and cures. Artisans take sea beans and turn them into beautiful jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets and pins.Don’t eat them though! They are for collecting and craft purposes only.

Hamburger bean

Don’t confuse this seed for a Whataburger Jr.! These seeds are from a vine of the pea family which grows in Africa and also in Central and South America. It is also referred to as the “deer’s eye” in England and the “horse’s eye” in Mexico. The folklore is that it can bring good luck and ward off the evil eye. Source: Ron Kratzer, The Gulf Breeze magazine.

Sea heart beans

This heart-shaped seed is from the monkey ladder vine originating in Brazil. This vine winds it way high into the rain forest canopy along the Amazon River. This is a prize for collectors because it polishes nicely and the heart shape will look beautiful on necklaces or bracelets. Source: Ron Kratzer, The Gulf Breeze magazine.

Sea bean variety below:

Sea Beans Chart


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