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Sea Hearts

Sea Hearts are produced in huge, hanging bean pods, up to six feet long. Sometimes they are found with imprints and lacerations, caused by the teeth of fish and mammals during their voyage. They are impervious to salt water, even after floating in the ocean for several years.

These beans have been fashioned into all sorts of trinkets and useful objects. Sailors carried sea hearts as good luck charms to protect them from sickness and to ward off the evil eye. Seeds were sometimes cut in half, the contents removed and the woody seed coats hinged together. Hollowed out seeds were commonly used in Norway and Northern Europe for snuff boxes, match boxes and lockets. It is said that a sea heart (also known as fava de Colom) inspired Christopher Columbus to set out in search of lands to the west.

Quantity polished purchases will be matched for size and color when possible.

Sea Hearts (Entada Gigas)

Origin: Atlantic Drift

Specifications: Polished/unpolished 40-50mm at widest point

Price: Polished starting at $6.95 or unpolished $0.95 each

Sea hearts are second to Brown Hamburgers of the most common of all beach-found sea-beans. They are also called Monkey Hearts, produced by the Monkey Ladder Vine, a jungle highway for tree-dwelling creatures in the rainforest canopy. Sea Hearts are carried by Caribbean currents to the Gulf of Mexico and the beaches of Florida. If not stranded on a US beach, they'll continue on their ride up the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic currents to Northern Europe. A few "extra large" hearts (over 60mm) are available in limited quantities.

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Matchbox Beans #1 (Entada phaseoloides)

Origin: Australia

Specifications: Polished 40-45mm at widest point

Price: Polished starting at $9.95 each

In the same family as Sea Hearts found on US beaches, this version grows abundantly in the Wet Tropics of Far Northern Queensland. They are not quite as common as their cousins, Entada rheedii, also found growing in the same areas. Having pinched and wrinkled edges, these are flat compared to E. gigas and E. rheedii, which are thicker, with more rounded edges.

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Matchbox Beans #2 (Entada rheedii)

Origin: Australia

Specifications: Polished 40-45mm at widest point

Price: Polished starting at $9.95 each

Light and more red in color than Entada gigas and phaseoloides, these are the beauties of the Wet Tropics. Many already look polished when found.

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Hamburger Beans | Sea Purses | Vines | Shrubs | Trees