Scarlet Runner Beans

flwrfrog(z9 Orlando)March 13, 2004

I bought, and planted, some scarlet runner beans today. For myself because of the pertty red blossoms, and for my son as well... fast sprouting/growing. Can anyone give me some more info?



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pajohnso(Z5 MI)

I am growing these for the first time this year too. From what I have read they are very good tasting as a dry bean. If you search in google for recipes, you will find some that sound really good.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2004 at 7:58AM
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Hi, I can tell you a little bit about them. You can eat the beans just like you would a pole bean. Also if you are interested in the flowers you have to keep the beans picked in order to keep it flowering. You can leave the beans on the vines to dry up and harvest the seeds also.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2004 at 10:40AM
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Glenn_50(New Plymouth NZ)

Don't let them get too big. It's tempting cause they can get to well over a foot in length but then they get stringy.
Harvest at about 8 inches. We run a knife along each side of the bean pod if they are too mature to remove the "string" on each side.
Beautiful flavour. Over here they are perennial.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2004 at 3:43AM
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They are sometimes called '7 year bean', because they will keep coming up in the spring for about 7 years. They are a perennial bean. We eat them as green beans - they are known as 'round beans' in the supermarket, the bush type beans are called 'flat beans'. Don't let them get too big - about average bean size is good. If you let them grow to their normal size too early in the season they will stop producing.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2004 at 6:33PM
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I've got them this year, mainly as an unusual ornamental vine for a fence. A friend gave me some she'd germinated. I was surprised and delighted to find out that it's also a hummingbird plant. They love those blooms! Now I'm sold on it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2004 at 5:52PM
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The flowers are edible, too - they have a slightly "beany" taste, and look nice garnishing a green salad.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 2:48PM
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ALLIEBEAN(6b Philadelphia)

They are probably the most popular bean in England. They are usually eaten fresh, with the 'string' around the sides removed and the bean pod sliced very thinly on the diagonal. Flavor is best when they are steamed. Wonderful with a little butter, salt and black pepper. And, if you want to be really bad, try them with broiled bacon!
As Linda mentioned, they are also a hummingbird magnet. Just make sure that you protect the young plants because they are also a groundhog magnet :-)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 9:30PM
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They have very beautiful beans of dark black with magenta-pink mottling. Whenever I grow them I save the dried beans to give away as packs of "Magic Beans."

    Bookmark   June 29, 2004 at 11:12PM
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This is - hands down - my FAVORITE pole bean.

Not only are the flowers lovely to look at & attractive to bees & hummingbirds, but are also edible & make lovely addition to salads or as an entree garnish.

The beans are of the flat "Romano" type & have a wonderful "beany" flavor - moreso than regular snaps. Pick while young; trim, slice, & cook just as you would any snap. I couldn't get enough of them!! Absolutely delicious. If the pods get too large to make tender snaps, just shell them & use in any recipe calling for fresh limas.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 11:10AM
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Scarlet runner bean is one of the older runner beans native to North America and cultivated for its edible and ornamental properties.
©2001 blossom
I grow it for many reasonsÂmainly to feed hummingbirds and myself. In addition, the plant sets nitrogen in the soil. I pick a spot along the fence line to let this grow up somewhere in the garden and vary its position from year to year.

Some Native American tribes regard the bean as a sacred plant. Many parts of the plant are edible, such as the pods (for green beans), dried beans, starchy roots, and edible flowers that are bean-like in taste. Use the dried beans as a substitute for garbanzo beans, limas or the Great Northern bean, and for refried beans. Since we cannot grow limas well enough in our cool Northwest climate, the scarlet runner is a good substitute. P. 'Scarlet Emperor' is a variety developed for eating them like other string beans. Harvest the pods when they are three or four inches long; after that they develop strings and parchment. Prepare and cook pods as you would other green beans. Harvest the beans when the pods have dried on the vine.

Because the vine is a tender perennial, it's grown as an annual in the Pacific Northwest. Provide netting or string to train the runner beans up trellises, or arbors, at least 6 feet high. The vine is very showy and used to screen porches or twining up obelisks and other supports. Dig the roots up in fall, store them the same way as dahlias, and replant the following spring. I find this method of digging them up more trouble than itÂs worth, since the vines are easy to start from seed each year.

Phaseolus coccineus is an excellent bee and hummingbird plant.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 2:43PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

There are quite a few threads regarding runner beans on the Bean Forum. I have had the pleasure of exchanging several varieties with GW members in the Pacific Northwest, where they are well acclimated.

If you enjoy runner beans, you might find this thread interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Insuk's Wang Kong

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 7:21PM
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I planted these for the first time here in Portland. Got busy and didnt harvest manny fresh. so we'll be harvesting them for dried beans... The flowers are beautiful orange/red, I planted them around a bamboo teepee with a "doorway" for my son (4 yrs). When they were in full bloom it created a really cool "volcano" for him to play in.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 2:03PM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

I was searching for proper support to use for this vine but I'm very glad I found this thread because I didn't know it was GROUNDHOG fodder.

These vines will be going behind lots of protection along with the Tithonia the miserable beasts destroyed this year. By the time they found something else to eat it was too cold for Butterflies to enjoy.

If the deer and rabbits don't get something the miserable groundhogs get it. Guess you all are used to this but for a first time gardener still struggling to get things to germinate, survive insects/bugs and onto flowering the pervasiveness of critter damage was stunning.

If the groundhogs could climb a 4' fence I had around one garden I'm not sure how I'm going to protect the Scarlet Runner Bean vines but I've already got the seeds and I'm going to have it for Hummingbirds if it kills me since I can't off the groundhogs...LOL.

I've read that the tee pees made of Bamboo Poles are in danger of falling over with a strong wind and that I'm going to need a minimum 7' support with 10' being even better.

Another thing to try and figure out.

I'll be taking beans off continuously since I'm planting mostly for Hummer nectar flowers. Will try cooking some up and see if my father will eat them. I'll make sure to remove the strings since I already have to peel asparagus and brocolli spears since he doesn't like "stringy" veggies. If he doesn't like them I can always share fresh beans with a neighbor so food isn't wasted.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 6:41PM
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I have had very good luck with Runner beans but I have replanted them every year as I didn't realize that they were perennial. What is the proper procedure for preparing the old crop for the following year? Should I just leave them as is, cut them off a couple inches above the ground or other?

We do not get hard freezing weather here. I live near San Francisco with weather extremes from +25F to 100F. I think Runners are a fantastic addition to a tiny back yard.

You can see the 2008 crop at:

Thanks for the help - Arlen

Here is a link that might be useful: Scarlet Runner Beans

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 7:11PM
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Hello, this is my first planting/growing these beans, they are about 8" long now, could anyone tell me are they ready to pick and exactly how to cut/prepare them for steaming.
i would welcome any advice, thanks in advance Joy.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 8:18AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I usually string and french cut runners (long narrow strips) before the seeds start to form in the pods, I've also cut them diagonally, in long and fairly narrow pieces. Really nice served with a pat of butter or sprinkled with bacon bits and bacon drippings :).


    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 12:28PM
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