please explain runner vs half runner

thatcompostguyMarch 19, 2014

I understand bush beans and pole beans. I haven't figured out runners and half runners. I assume a runner is almost as vigorous as a pole bean, but not quite. And I assume a half runner is more than a bush, but not quite a runner.

If that's right, then smallest to largest... bush, half runner, runner, pole? Plant size, not bean size. I understand bean sizes are relatively the same between plant sizes.

Is that even close?

Thank you.

Chris B.

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tormato

Bush, half-runner, and pole beans usually mean common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris).

Half-runners have about 3 to 5 foot vines (for me). Some will twine around an object, others do not twine, and just sprawl out.

Runner usually means Phaseolus coccineus.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:33PM
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farmerdill

concur: Runner is a different type of bean. Do well in an English climate, but in the south about all you get is flowers. They are available in Red (Scarlet Runner) white (White Emergo), apricot (Apricot) and multi (Painted Lady) flowers.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:48PM
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thatcompostguy

Ahhh... OK. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 2:04PM
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fusion_power

There are 5 growth habits found in common beans.

Runner - same as "pole" and means climbs from 6 to 20 feet

Half Runner - climbs from 3 up to 6 feet

Bush - does not produce runners of any sort

Prostrate - produces short runners that do not climb.

Terminal - produces a stem up to 3 feet long that terminates in a flower bud. This type is similar to half runner in some ways and to bush in others.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:14PM
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drloyd

I have noticed that Bill best has called some beans with 10 foot vines half runners.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 12:59AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have learned this from Farmerdill some time ago and was just pointed out here by Tormato.
It has nothing to do with the growth habit (though it is a climber) and it is different from common pole (or bush) beans. This bean likes and thrives best in cool climates like England ( per floral -UK) and it also does very well here at PNW. I have only grown Scarlet Runners. I have already sown some seeds. It has long fat pods and is very tasty, to me at least. Zeedman and Farmerdill are the experts on beans here, that I know.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:56AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Confusion, confusion, confusion, another example, starts when some pole beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are referred to as runners just because they climb. When I see 'runner' in a description it makes me think of Phaseolus coccineus but it's not always so, it could be a climbing common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).

Another example, 'Somas Greek Lima' is not a lima (Phaseolus lunatus) it's a runner (Phaseolus coccineus), the lima part of the name referring to it either looks like or tastes like a lima bean.

We ran into this when we were trying to find out what the Greek 'Gigandes' was, names can be confusing too.

Does this help or am I adding to the confusion :).

Annette

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 11:27AM
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thatcompostguy

I feel like I touched a nerve! :-)

I'll try to ignore the word "runner" in names and pay more attention to descriptions instead. Not that I wouldn't also look at descriptions.

Thank you. You can let this thread die off...

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:57PM
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farmerdill

Just to add to add to the confusion, there are bush runner beans, Stickless Wonder, Hestia, Dwarf Bees etc.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:24PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"Just to add to add to the confusion, there are bush runner beans, Stickless Wonder, Hestia, Dwarf Bees etc."

So what you are saying is that there are runners... without runners. That pretty much sums up the inherent confusion of the bean lexicon. ;-)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:53PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I'd never heard of Stickless Wonder so I looked it up. It's Vigna unguiculata, so neither P vulgaris or P coccineus.

Over here a runner bean is always P coccineus. There are dwarf runner beans which are also P coccineus.

P vulgaris is called a French bean. They come either as a dwarf French bean or a climbing French bean, but never a runner bean, so there isn't any confusion over what is being referred to.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:55PM
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drloyd

Flora, here too the customary use for the term runner bean is to apply it to P. coccineus only. A runner bean can be pole, half runner or bush.

P. vulgaris beans are customarily referred to as common beans. We do not normally describe beans as French.

Most of us use the term half runner for beans that climb 3 feet or a bit more and a been that can make it to the top of a 6 foot trellis is getting into pole territory. Some in Appalachia consider 10 feet to be the dividing line since a proper cornfield bean (pole bean) will reach 20 feet. I recall a photo of a single NT half runner plant covering about a 10 foot length of trellis from bottom to top. Dick

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 9:20AM
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tormato

10 foot half-runners? :o

I guess my half-runners are quarter-runners, then. ;)

Gary

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 11:39AM
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drloyd

Gary there may be an Appalachian definition. On the Kentucky Life video he commented that a single NT Half-Runner plant filled almost 18 feet of a trellis. Perhaps the vines are 5-6 feet long but they branch like crazy!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 3:14PM
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