Dec
01
2017

Bean Variety Reference Page

Beans listed here are previously grown varieties, and may be re-offered in the future.
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POLE:
beanAlmaWhitaker2Bean ‘Alma Whitaker Cornfield bnAWC
This variety is very productive. The beans are not large, almost like harricot vert beans. They have a typical bean flavor. Like many heirloom varieties, this one has strings, but I found them easy to remove (some varieties seem to give me more trouble.)
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABean, pole ‘Anasazi Pole’ aka Aztec Cave aka New Mexico cave(Phaseolus vulgaris) bnAnaP
You will often find seed for the bush form of this bean, but not this version. This rarer version is a true pole bean. They grew well and produced a lot of pods both years that I’ve grown them. The green beans tasted good, but have strings. This bean though is known for being a great dried shelled bean.
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Bean, pole Aunt Jean’s bnAuJ
This is a terrific bean that is fast to produce. The pods are stringless at the full green bean stage and taste great, and the beans can be left to mature to use as a dry bean. If you live in a short season area, this is one to try because it develops mature dry seed quickly.
Please also see the pic father down the page of pods next to Jeminez.
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Bean ‘Bosnian Pole’ bnBosP
This is a very rare bean. Some of you may have read about it in the SSE Members catalog or on GardenWeb. This bean came to me a few years ago as seed that was taken with a family who fled Bosnia during the war there. I knew the dry beans were special looking. They are shaped like a romano, but unusually colored. The dry seed when first harvest looks the beans to the upper left. They almost look bi-colored since the tan is so light, but if you look close, you can see the white. After a year or two, they look like the beans to the upper right and the tri-color is quite evident. . As they age, they get even darker.
OK besides being cool looking, the green beans are incredibly tasty. They are a flat podded romano type. The beans can get quite plump and there are no strings. The only downfall to this bean is it seems to not like high temps so during the high heat of summer, you won’t see beans. My plants though made up quick once the temps dropped back down into the 80 degree range.
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beanbruce2Bean ‘Bruce bnBru
This is a heirloom fall/October bean from Kentucky that I received in trade while in Berea from Neil H. Here’s what he has passed along to me, “from Bruce Coleman of Raccoon Ky in Pike county. It reaches up to 8 foot tall and is very blight tolerate. It bears well and we find the beans can great. I’m unsure how many years Bruce grew the bean, but it was one of his favorites right up until his passing.” The flat beans start off green with faint red markings and as the beans age the become red and white. Fall beans are know to be good for shelling/dried beans. They often are good as a regular green bean too.
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.Dolloff bnDol
The dried beans of this one have an appearance of a Lima as they are so wide, but they are P. vulgaris. This one originates from Vermont so it is a good one for shorter seasons. After reading up some, it seems they may be the same/very similar to ‘Golden Lima’ (not a Lima.) It was one of the beans planted late in a big pots and did well. I expect it would be excellent in the ground.
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Emilia’s Italian bnEmIt
This bean is named in honor of the lady who brought them to Nanaimo British Columbia, CA from Italy in 1911. This were originally distributed as ‘Auntie Vi’s‘ but my friend, Aftermidnight on GW, from who these bean come from decided Emilia’s Italian was a better tribute. It is a beautiful striped podded variety. I grew this out on the farm and forgot to take pics! To read more in depth about the name and see pics, Click Here. This is obviously a good grower in cool short season climates.
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BEAN FLAMINGOBean ‘Flamingo pole bnFla
This bean is a result of a crossed Jeminez bean. Instead of the green pods that redden with age, Flamingo is covered in bright pink spots from the start. When cooked they turn to yellow. So it is a wax bean not a green bean. A very interesting new bean. Once to the shelling stage, they become completely pink.
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beangoodmotherBean ‘Good Mother Stallard pole bnGMS
This is a very pretty (pic to come) heirloom cooking bean of a nice size. I don’t know much history except that it was originally sent to the owner of Sand Hill Preservation, and he grew it and distributed it. It has since become fairly popular.
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGoose aka Ma Williams pole bnGoosFrom Darrel Jones of Selected Plants, “Goose is a consistent heavy producer in the heat and humidity here in North Alabama. It is best used as a huge shelly bean when the pods turn a pale yellowish pink color. I did not like them as snaps, especially by comparison with some really good snap beans.” My forum friend Zeedman also agrees, “the strength of this bean is its use as a green shell, for which it is outstanding. It bears early for such a large-seeded pole shelly, at about 80 days. The ripe pods are not only beautiful, but shell easily. Provided that the vines are not too closely spaced, the yield will be heavy from top to bottom.
The seeds are grayish in shell stage, flattened, and about 7/8″ long X 1/2″ wide X 1/3” thick. Their skin is thin & tender, but does not crack easily when cooked. The flavor is rich, with a fine texture, unlike the “potatoey” taste & texture of most of the large shellies I have tried.” (quotes from an old GardenWeb forum post.)
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Bean ‘Jembo Polish’ bnJPol
This is my one of my favorite overall beans. It is pretty rare and should be more well known. It is very vigorous and makes lots of tasty beans that do not have strings until very late stage. They are a flat podded variety but do not have seeds like a romano. My photo of Earl’s Faux tomato has Jembo Polish pods to the right of the scale. To see the pic Click Here. The seeds are quite large for a string bean. I’ve had people look at them and think they were Lima seeds. They might be good as a dry bean for cooking, but I’ve not tried them that way.
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Bean ‘Jimenez’ aka ‘Jiminez’aka Jeminez bnJime
This is a strong grower for me producing lots of very large long flat pods streaked with red. They have a great bean flavor, and are stringless until the they start to plum up and ripen. As they ripen the pods get redder as shown in the photo to the left. In the photo to the right, they are pictured on a normal size Corelle dinner plate with the smaller Aunt Jean’s beans. LIMIT ONE per customer. 30 seeds for $3.25.
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‘Johnson County bnJCo
This is a greasy bean. The pods are thin and purported to be fairly long, but I grew mine in 5 gallon buckets and they were not too long, so that must of affected the size a bit. They ripen mostly at he same time so those you who like to have lots of beans at once or are canners will like this one. These are from KY via Bill Best who got them from a lady that live in Lexington.
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABean ‘Lazy Daisy Greasy bnLDG
This was a good grower for me. I’m not sure why it is called lazy. It does have strings though they were easy to remove. Lazy Daisy Greasy origins are unclear, but Bill Best writes on his site, “It was given to my mother, Margaret Best, by my father’s first cousin, Luther Best, when both were in their eighties.
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Marie Amazilitei bnMAm
This is an unusual curled wax/yellow pole bean. They curl so much they look like 6’s. It is very neat to grow. This bean is Romanian in origin.
The usage of WAX in the name or description of beans (and also hot wax peppers) is from the color yellow. Before the of prevalence of electricity in homes, candle wax was once a common place household item. Candles were a utilitarian item unlike now where all we mostly see are dyed candles for decorative use. Candle wax before dying is a subdued yellow in color hence the usage to describe some vegetables.
I had much difficulty getting a lot of good bean seed as the pods split at the seams as they were drying. I suspect it was because of how dry it was all summer and then of course at seed saving time it became wet.
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Bean ‘North Carolina Speckled Long Greasy Cut-Short’ bnNCSL
This another fairly rare bean that I think is deserving of more recognition. The vines are excellent growers and producers. It was late for bean seed collection so those of you north of here may run into problems with that. The pods are not that long, but for a greasy bean they are. For those of you reading who may not know Greasy is a term for bean that look glossy because the little “hairs” that give a bean green a matte appearance are missing. The green beans plump up quite nicely, so they are nice and meaty eating. The flavor is milder bean to my taste. The bean seed is beige with tan speckles. They are semi-cut short if that is a term! Some seed ends do look cut short while others look fairly like a normal bean seed. This variety has strings.
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beanrandynewsome2Bean ‘Roger Newsome (previously known as Randy Newsome) bnRoN
This was a very productive bean fall/October. The beans as you can see turn mostly red with a bit of white as they age. This variety is believed to have originated in Floyd County, KY. There was a mix up in the name at some point. Bill Best also had this bean listed as Randy not Roger. He has since told me the name should be Roger.
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Bean ‘Red and White Fall bnRWF
This fairly unknown heirloom fall/October bean is productive and tasty. This variety can be a tad late for seed saving in the north. Fall beans are very popular in the Appalachian area of the US. They should be more well known. You can use them in all stages. They can be eaten as green beans with nice plump seeds in them, and they can be shelled fresh or dried for later use. The dry seeds are very pretty.
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARed Striped Greasy bnRSG
As you can see this is plump looking greasy. The red striping is faint on the green bean, but as it ripens to shelling stage you can see the red on the yellow easier. This is a Kentucky heirloom.
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Red Eye Fall bnREG
This is a rare bean. I think after people try it, it will become quite popular. The beans are incredibly tasty. I don’t think I’ve had better. They have no strings when plump which the way I like to eat beans. So they are a snap to prepare. They also mature quickly which is great for everyone to the north.
Originally these were named ‘Red Eye Greasy’. After having gone to the Oct. seed swap at the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center Berea, KY a few yeas back, I found out that these are NOT greasy beans. They are Fall aka October beans. Bill Best and I discussed the beans and one that he has that is very similar. The red marking is not as strong on his. His came from Tennessee. This bean came to me via my forum friend Keith. He received them from a lady named Kathy who was in TN. Unfortunately, her old email does not work. (If you are out there Kathy, please contact us.) The pods are smoother and not tacky like some beans and we figure that is why greasy was attached to the name.
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Bean ‘Romano Pole’ bnRomP.
This wonderfully productive flat green bean is great for those of you with limited space. One plant gave me at least 5 pasta pots(I used this for picking since my little basket wasn’t big enough.) worth of beans. As with many vine type plants, don’t be alarmed if the plants just sit there doing nothing for quite some time. They are putting down roots to support the plant we see. Suddenly they will explode with new growth and lots of beans.
If you have been a customer awhile, you may know my saga about this bean. It was so popular. I could not keep up on demand and bought wholesale for a couple years. Then three years back, I ordered more, and the beans were different, not the square pillow shape they should be. I tried another place, same thing. I tried to contact Pinetree about it since they were where I originally purchased them many years ago, and they still had their seed supply from the previous season. They did not know that the wholesale supply had gone to the wrong seed. I think they more thought I was some crazy person and did not listen to me like I wanted them too. Well, last year’s catalog came out and they were out of stock. I have a suspicion they got more and not the the right beans as I tried to warn them.
I also tried to get them grown from my own stash at Arden Farm a few years ago since there is so much space, but the organic inspector said no because these are a variety that you can buy organic, and if there is organic seed available, you can not grow uncertified seed. I was not there when he came. He of course did not understand that yes you can get Romanos, but not these Romanos. So then I had a couple bad bean years, and didn’t get much seed.
So sorry, I had crossed seed this year (2016) :( So I will have to go back and try with the older seed next year. My crossed seeds is excellent though so I will be growing those out too and hopefully have a new variety.
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Bean ‘Seneca Speckled Egg bnSSE
This is a really neat bean. As the pods plump up they get striped with dark purple and the mottling becomes increasingly stronger as the pods age. The bean seeds are small and spotted and do resemble birds eggs. It is a heavy producer of bean pods. The only downfall of this bean is it is late to fully mature, mid October. So seed savers in short season area may have trouble with seed collection.
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Bean ‘Striped Hull Greasy Cut Short bnSHGCT
As you can see from the photos, the beans start off plain green and as they plump up, striping appears which makes for easier picking. This variety is from Jackson County, KY. In case you missed it from other descriptions -Greasy is a term for bean that look glossy because the little “hairs” that give a bean green a matte appearance are missing.
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Bean ‘True Red Cranberry pole bnTRC
This very old heirloom used to be called ‘Red Cranberry’, but a lot of beans by that name must of been floating around as cranberry is a popular name with beans. This bean is completely dark red not mottled like other beans with cranberry in the name. In my copy of Field and Garden Vegetables of America from 1863, the description starts off, “This is one of the oldest and most familiar garden beans, and has probably been longer and more generally cultivated in this country than any other variety.” Also, we know it as a cooking bean now, but the description goes on to say, “…hardy and productive variety, principally grown as a string-bean. The pods are succulent and tender; and these qualities are retained to a very advances stage of growth.” So it might be good to give it a go as than and not just saved for shelling.
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bean spanglerpoleSpangler Pole bnSpP
This variety has very fat green beans.They are still good for a green bean at stage pictured. It is a great bean, but not good for northern short season growers for seed saving.
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Bean, pole Zelma Zesta bnZelma
This variety has green pods striped with purple. They are stringless. This is an older Parks seed variety that originated from a family heirloom. Some of this bean’s history was described over on the GardenWeb Bean forum by the member Rodger(The supplier of my seeds):
“The Zelma Zesta bean was developed by my wife’s Great Uncle the Late Mr JC Metze. Mr Metze gave me a quart jar of seed in the early 80s. The bean was developed from a family bean that he selected for long tender pods. In the 1960s he sold the patent for the bean to Parks seed company which is about 30 miles from us here in South Carolina. Parks Trialed the bean at their bean grow out farm in Selma Alabama. My understanding from Parks seed is all varieties that were introduced from the Selma Alabama farm used the name Selma. Parks no longer uses the farm in Selma Alabama most seed is generated abroad or in the Western part of the US today. Parks sold the bean in their catalog in the 1960s to early 1970s. So the real name of the bean would have been Selma Zesta, but I use the spelling of Zelma Zesta because that is what is written on the label that Mr JC Metze gave me when he gave me the beans.”
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HALF RUNNER:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARio Zape bnRioZ
This is like a pinto bean but of a dark pink brown as opposed to the regular medium brown coloration of pintos. They are a good cooking bean for things like chili.
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Bean ‘Tuscarora Bread’ bnTuBr
This rare bean has a special story with it. Though I got them elsewhere, they originally came from Norton Rickard an elder of the Tuscarora Nation. Norton loved gardening and when retired from work, he pursued a dream of gardening full time. He sold produce at a stand on his property. I was lucky enough to meet him and have a long talk about gardening, seed saving, and Tuscarora history. He told me a lot of history, and I was honored to hear all he had to say. He was very instrumental in also keeping the Tuscarora Corn from going extinct, Click Here for that story. The bread bean came from an elder Tuscarora woman in NY down near the PA border over 50 years ago when he was teen. The lady gave the beans to his older brother and told him they were special bread beans, to grow the beans, and not let them die off. So his brother grew them and eventually Norton did.
The beans are a cooking bean. They can be used in any bean dish like chili, but they are specifically used by the Tuscaroras for bean bread. Bean Bread has been a staple of the Tuscarora for a long time. I found recipes for Cherokee bean bread online. To see one of the recipes Click Here. You can also find many other variations by googling Cherokee Bean Bread Recipe. The bread is like the Tuscarora bread which makes sense since Norton taught me that the Tuscarora once lived near the Cherokee before they moved north and joined the Iroquois nations. My friend, the owner of Good Mind Seeds, sent me a video of the making of Seneca cornbread which he says is more closely representative of the Tuscarora recipes. It is a great video as it is in the Seneca Language and English. CLICK HERE to watch it.
I asked Norton what to call the bean, and he said, “Tuscarora Bread Bean.” I told him I would do that then. He unfortunately passed away shortly after I met him. I would of love to have known him better. I was told this bean is a bush bean, but the plants grew up my rabbit fencing so it is better described as a half runner.
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BUSH:
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Alice Sunshine bnAliS
This was very good growing bush bean this year (2016.) The nice sized pods develop fairly early and dry beans come fast too. The seed is pretty (photo coming soon,) and hence why I decided to give this one a try. It was developed by the late Robert Lobitz of Paynesville, Minnesota who was a member of Seed Savers Exchange. He also bred ‘Red Swan’ listed a few down here. Limit ONE per customer.
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Bean, bush ‘Coco Bianco’ bnCoB
I grew this bean, a bunch of plants, in a gigantic planter and they did very well (photo is from 7/27.) I had no idea it was considered just a cooking bean so we ate them as green beans at the stage you can see on the plate (8/12,) and they were very good. The bean seeds are large and white so I can see why they are considered and excellent cooking bean. They would go well in soup.
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Bean ‘Red Swan’ bnRSw
This is a new bean cultivar that is quite interesting. It is a cross between a pinto and a purple snap bean, and the result is a pretty red hued, flat bean. It is stringless. It was bred by the late Robert Lobitz, a long tine SSE member, from Minnesota. 50 seeds for $2.00.
Sorry, now out of stock.
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASanta Maria Pinquito bnSMP
These little pink beans are most often used in making bean side dishes with tri-tip like the recipe on this page, Click Here, but of course you can use them in any dish you like. I did not try the beans green to see if they were good that way. I grew them in pots and did not see much vining, but I’ve read semi-bush so in the ground they may be more of a half-runner.
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FAVA:
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‘Extra Precoce A Grano Violetto’ aka ‘Extra Precoce Violetto’ favViol
This variety’s name means extra early purple seed. There are also green seeded varieties of Favas, but I grew up eating the purple kind so I picked this to carry. We always ate them simply cooked in a bit of water with garlic, pepper, salt, olive oil, and a touch of butter. Accompanying them was always good hearty Italian bread. You used the bread to sop up the juice. (I’m getting hungry writing this.) Unlike regular beans Favas do well with cool weather. Having a short season variety is nice since so many areas like here go from cool to hotter than Hades right quick. They can also be planted in late summer for a fall crop in places south of here. In places like Florida, they can be planted as a winter crop.
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LIMA:
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABlack Jungle Butterbean pole limaBJu
This variety originally comes from a person who saved beans from Fruit & Spice Park in Homestead FL. (Homestead, FL has signs that say Pole Bean Capitol of the World) prior to hurricane Andrew. The business lost their records in the hurricane so the origins of this one before then are lost. It has developed a devoted following of growers as they love its production and flavor. Sometimes you will see the name Harry attached to the name as he was the one who first distributed this variety out to the public so it would not be lost.
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‘Florida Speckled Butterbean’, pole limaFSB
This is a popular climbing variety of baby lima bean. They do well in hot southern weather.
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALoudermilk, bush limaLou
I’ve seen this variety listed as pole, but what I have is definitely a bush. It is an easy to grow variety even up north, early to mature. The beans do look like they are suppose to so I have no idea about the pole vs. bush issue. It is fairly rare to begin with so pinning down the answer may be difficult. While doing a search on something else, I found a reference to a Lauderback pole butterbean (page 71.) Perhaps there was some name confusion at some point?
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COWPEA:
rice pea‘Rice Pea aka ‘Rice’ cwRice
The seeds of this variety are so cute, maybe that doesn’t sound right, lol. They are tiny and a pale ecru color (photo coming soon,) and when I saw them, I had to grow them. The small bushes are easy to grow even up north. They do well in pots/buckets.
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Sorry, now out of stock.
SOYBEAN:
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Bean, Soybean/Edamame ‘Korean Black’ bnSoyKB
The seed coats of this variety are very dark, quite unusual. The interior of the beans are still green. They are very flavorful.
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASoybean ‘Natsu KurakakebnSoyNKu
This is an unusual looking soy bean. The seeds are a bit smaller than the other two varieties offered so they may be better for recipes and not snacking on them from the pods. I see them listed as really long to dry seed, but I didn’t have a problem here with getting seed.
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ASIAN BEAN:
Bean, Asparagus aka Yard Long, Black Seeded (Vigna unguiculata sesquipedalis) bnAspBS
I received plants from a friend this year. Having run out of garden space, I grew the beans in 5 gallon buckets on the driveway. They did great! I think for the northern part of the country, this may be the way to go for those heat loving varieties of the Vigna genus that can be finicky for us.
This cultivar of Asparagus bean has light green pods with a pink tip and the dried seed is black. Some people think they taste like a bean asparagus cross hence the name, but I just taste bean. The Yard Long name is of course from the amazing length of the pods. Sometimes they get quite big as in the photo to the right. In general thought they average a bit over a foot long. Produces long vines like a pole bean.
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RUNNER BEAN:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAyocote Morado (Purple Runner aka Oaxacan Purple) bnAyM
This is a Mexican heirloom runner bean. The bean seeds are lavender, very pretty. Please note that though the beans come from Mexico, they still do not form bean pods in really hot weather. So do not get discouraged if you don’t see beans during the high heat of summer, as soon as it gets to more reasonable temps, the beans will come. The beans though still large are smaller than other runner beans.

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