(Phaseolus coccineus) 68 days to snap stage, 115 days to dry shell stage. [Pre-1750. Grown by the early colonists who obtained seed from the Native Americans.] A traditional favorite grown for both its food and ornamental value, this is the most popular green bean grown in England. In North America the 'Scarlet Runner' is grown mostly for its brilliant scarlet flowers, which are highly attractive to hummingbirds. Grown widely in northern gardens for use as a snap bean or dried bean that has a nut-like flavor. In Virginia, pod set occurs in the fall. Fully grown pods are 8 to 12" long and contain mottled reddish-purple beans. Pkt (42 g = 1.5 oz, about 42 seeds) sows approximately 7 poles.
Runner Beans are perennial beans that originate from Central America. They are tolerant of heat, drought, and cool nights. Unlike other beans the vine turns counterclockwise instead of clockwise. A bulbous root is produced which in mild climates can be dug up in the fall and replanted in the spring.
History: Many runner varieties can be traced back to the Hopi Indians before the arrival of the Spanish, and may have been previously cultivated by the Aztecs.
Culture: High temperatures over 90°F may prevent pod set; if grown for food, expect pod production only during late summer or early fall in the Mid-Atlantic and southward.
Harvest: Runner beans are eaten as snap beans when pods are small, and can be used as green shell or dried shell beans.
Seed Savers: Runner beans readily cross-pollinate. For home use isolate from other runner beans by a minimum of 75-150 ft. For pure seed, isolate by 1⁄8 to ¼ mile. Please refer to Pole Snap Bean Cultural Notes for further growing information.
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