Yellow Wax Beans

feldon30(N Houston (8))June 30, 2006

Yellow wax beans have been my favorite beans as far as buying at farmer's markets (although I really enjoyed the Yard Longs I got a few weeks ago).

I know these are mostly bush varieties, but mucho evidence points to pole beans being more productive. About the only yellow wax pole bean variety I've seen is Marvel of Venice. I'd like to know what experience people have had with yellow beans of any kind.

So far, my experience has been that I like more tender varieties than the typical green beans. I find French filet beans to be very tender and sweet, and I find yellow wax beans to be buttery and more flavorful.

You can tell I have beans on the brain. I have seeds for:

* Brittle Wax (yellow wax; bush)

* Mellow Yellow (yellow wax; bush)

* Dragon's Tongue (purple/striped wax; bush)

* Climbing French Pole Bean (french filet; pole)

* Triumphe de Farcy (french filet; bush)

* Kentucky Wonder (green bean; pole)

* Blue Lake (green bean; bush)

* Oregon Sugar (snow pea; bush)

* Little Marvel dwarf (sugar snap pea; bush)

* Wando (English pea; bush)

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john90808(z10 So Cal)

Feldon, I grew Nugget (Territorial Seeds) this year and had very good results. I froze about 2 1/2 pounds and ate the rest. I like them blanched and then sautéed with garlic and olive oil, with a little bit of fresh thyme sprinkled on them. Makes for a very nice presentation on the plate. I am fond of wax beans because of the taste but also because my grandfather grew and canned them for years and they were the best beans ever....a fond childhood memory thing...

I am just about to finish out Dragon Tongue and these were good performers for me as well. Good flavor and a really pretty bean plant.

The only Pole Bean I have going now is Kentucky Blue (yeah I know some folks don't like it). These have been a heavy producer for me, so much so, that I just pickled 4 jars of them last weekend. I will probably try K-Wonder or Blue Lake next season to compare.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 1:35PM
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feldon30(N Houston (8))

I'll have to keep Nugget (Territorial Seeds) in mind.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 3:07PM
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john90808(z10 So Cal)

Here's what the Nugget (wax) beans look like harvested:

Here's my 2 1/2 pounds worth that I am saving for winter when I am reminiscing about how good my summer beans were ;)

John (who thinks that ALL beans are good!)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 8:15PM
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adenn1(z7PA)

Feldon:

Last year I grew Cherokee Yellow Wax beans...very productive and wonderful flavor. This year I am trying Dragon Tongue for the first time...and just had a few tonight...great tasting beans!

I believe there is also a Cherokee Yellow Wax Pole bean...or was that Kentucky Wonder Wax...will check out my catalogs.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 9:20PM
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feldon30(N Houston (8))

john90808,

Beautiful. :)

I think I'm going to grow what I've got this fall and then try those Nuggets next spring. :)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 9:36PM
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fliptx(Houston 9)

I grew Brittle Wax this spring but I waited too long to plant them, so I only got a few beans before the heat overcame the plants. But the ones I did get were very good. I'm going to grow them again this fall.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 10:44PM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

My favorite bush yellow wax currently is Pencil Pod and this will be my third year in a row growing that lovely one. It's quite early, very productive, and easily managed short plants not much more than a foot tall. Supposedly has been around for at least 50 years.

Martin

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 2:33AM
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franeli(z4 NH)

Yellow bush bean favs are Indy Gold( freezes very well) and Pencil Pod .
Green pole bean fav for me is Rattlesnake.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 7:34AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Feldon, I'd agree that as a class wax beans are more tender than green beans as a class. But there are, of course, noteable exceptions in both groups. White Pod Pink Tip, for instance, is one of the most gorgeous pole wax beans you can grow. But they tend to be tough.

They (you know, the ubiquitous "they") say that every bush bean has a pole bean analog. If that's true, you should have no trouble finding pole wax beans that you like.

"Beans of New York," not counting the illustrations, has 17 pages of wax bean listings. If I can find the time I'll go through them and see if I can find pole types among them.

Meanwhile, the current SSE Yearbook lists 27 pole wax bean varieties available from listed members.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 8:04AM
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feldon30(N Houston (8))

gardenlad,

Thanks for the great info and recommendations.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 10:03AM
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reign(z5 NY)

I'm trying Brittle Wax this season. I've stared at the pole wax beans listing in the SSE Yearbook. I'm going to try a few next year. I'm still looking for the perfect mainstay heirloom beans for my gardens. Now I'm going to have to check out "Beans of New York" for some suggestions.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 12:21AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I have grown both "Goldmarie" pole (a flat Romano-type wax) and "Kentucky Wonder Wax" pole. The "KW Wax" was grown in a very bad bean year, and had serious disease problems (and perhaps warrants a further trial).

"Goldmarie" is _very_ fast-growing, and crops quickly & heavily. You would be picking this just about the same time as your first zuke. The beans are quite long (7-8"), very flat, and extremely sweet & tender. Well-grown, this is a real eye-catcher.

I especially enjoyed them raw out of hand, or added to salads. They are also outstanding steamed. My only complaints would be that it did not re-crop as well as most pole beans, and did not maintain its excellent quality when frozen.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 1:31AM
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glover(z7 DC)

I've grown yellow wax beans and love them, but I always get a much smaller yield than any green variety - I wonder why?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 9:58AM
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macmex

We've been growing an heirloom wax pole bean, from my wife's side of the family, since 1983. It's called Barksdale Wax Pole Bean, after Clyde Barksdale, a neighbor of my wife's grandparents, in Salem, Illinois, who gave them their seed, probably more than 50 years ago.

This beanÂs pods are flat and reach 8" in length and an inch in width. They remain tender right up to when they begin to dry down for seed. Barksdale germinates best while the soil is still fairly cool and moist, but like any bean, it doesnÂt tolerate frost. This variety withstands heat just fine, but wonÂt set on many beans when nights are hot. So, many summers we have a fairly light picking until the cool evenings of late summer arrive and then it produces like gangbusters! Late in the season a few poles of this bean produce so much that we often stop picking our other beans. Because of the yellow color and large size of the pods it's very easy to pick.

I've seen documentation which leads me to believe that Barksdale is an old variety that supposedly disappeared in the mid-1800s. The documentation said that it was called the Golden Cluster Pole Bean, and that it was one of the best wax varieties. The claim was that it disappeared to do cross-pollination. I believe that it became discontinued because of its low productivity during the hottest part of the summer, and because it is not as prolific a producer of seed as other varieties. An 8" bean will have 8 seeds, instead of being packed with 16 or more. Nevertheless, this is one of our familyÂs favorites.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 4:12PM
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feldon30(N Houston (8))

macmex,

Do you offer these seeds in the Seed Exchange forum or to SSE members?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 4:23PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

If it is Golden Cluster, Macmex, I suspect it was lost for reasons other than cross-pollination. Beans rarely cross because they self-pollinate the evening _before_ the flowers open. So the pollen is not readily available to pollinators.

You're probably right that it was replaced by other, more productive types. "Beans of New York," as we shall see, supports that view.

There is quite a write-up about Golden Cluster in "Beans of New York." FWIW, they were introduced in America in 1806 by Henry A Dreer as Early Golden Cluster Wax Pole. Dreer had obtained seed from John Kramer of Doylestown, PA, who had originally procured stocks from Germany. They were also known as Algerian White.

Golden Cluster was still fairly popular by the 1930's but was being supplanted by others. "The popularity of Golden Cluster Wax has gradually receded, while that of Kentucky Wax has ascended," the author says.

Like so many other varieties, it simply lost out to more popular ones. But, as with your line, there's no doubt that it's being kept alive by families who still prefer it. Often enough, unfortunately, the original name has been lost.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 7:56AM
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macmex

Feldon, I offer it through the SSE as a means of keeping it going. For instance, during our 13 plus years of living in Mexico I lost my seed (at the same time the wife's grandparents dropped it, due to age). I was able to request a sample from SSE member Mike Deyo and start up again. My seed stock is a little low right now, but we have a good many growing right now. Of course, they aren't bearing much of anything because of the heat. But in the fall we'll be deluged in them.

Gardenlad, I completely agree with you. I can see why this bean would have been supplanted by Kentucky Wonder. It can be a bother to have to wait for cooler weather to get snaps. Plus, there are times that germination isn't very good, especially if it's hot out. Still it's a great bean. We especially like the fact that the pods never get tough.

We received another family heirloom, from my wife's great aunt, called Tennessee Cutshort. This makes a great complimentary bean for Barksdale, as it has all the great characteristics of Kentucky wonder, except in a 5" cutshort, which also stays tender even when the beans are maturing. By growing them both we have plenty of beans all summer. Of course we grow other beans too.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 8:40AM
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feldon30(N Houston (8))

I intend to join SSE and then I can request it from you. :)

I am really into wax beans and would love to grow and keep several varieties going. We'll see what they think of Houston summers.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 1:44PM
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adenn1(z7PA)

Wanted to update my first experience with Dragon Tongue...what a great tasting wax bean! I find it even better than Cherokee Yellow Wax...in taste and production. The yellow, purple stripped beans make for easier picking too...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 9:02AM
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fliptx(Houston 9)

About Dragon's Tongue... what color do the purple bits turn when cooked?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 7:06AM
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john90808(z10 So Cal)

fliptx, when I blanched or cooked my dragon tongue beans, the overall color softened to a pale green. The purple fades when cooked. The flavor is very good. Yum!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 5:26PM
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fliptx(Houston 9)

Thanks, John! My Royal Burgundy beans cook to a dark green so I was curious what happened to the purple bits on a yellow bean.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 7:49PM
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adenn1(z7PA)

Yes, as John stated...when cooked Dragon Tongue's purple turns a soft green. Ate some more tonight and have six quart bags in freezer. In the next week or so the plants may be pulled and another crop put in...

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 9:50PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I've never grown Dragon's Tongue, but it looks interesting... according to the Garden Seed Inventory, Sixth Edition, it went from one source in 1984 to 24 sources in 2004. It must have something going for it! The comments here have convinced me to give it a try.

Macmex, your Barksdale Wax would probably do well here in Wisconsin, and I have been looking for a good heirloom wax. I will contact you through SSE.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 11:35PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I've never grown Dragon's Tongue, but it looks interesting... according to the Garden Seed Inventory, Sixth Edition, it went from one source in 1984 to 24 sources in 2004. It must have something going for it! The comments here have convinced me to give it a try.

Macmex, your Barksdale Wax would probably do well here in Wisconsin, and I have been looking for a good heirloom wax. I will contact you through SSE.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 12:02AM
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macmex

I grew the Dragon Tongue snap (Dragon Langerie, spelling?) in 1984 and 1985, in an area with LOTS of weavils. The one disadvantage I found it to have was that it was very susceptable to weavils, to the point of ruining some of the snaps. But it did produce well and taste good. My wife prefered Royal Burgandy and Fowler Snap Bush bean. Now she is pushing for me to plant much more of our Tennessee Cutshort.

George
waiting for a plane in Portland, OR

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 11:00AM
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johnml(z5 WI)

Beans for me are "ok". I like them, but nothing to get excited about. Not anymore.

I just harvested the first batch of a yellow bush variety called "Roquencourt".

WOW!!

These are the best beans I have ever tasted. Kids think so too.

Beautiful buttery sweet full bean flavor. Definitely a winner.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 12:51PM
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fliptx(Houston 9)

Which wax have you, my fellow gardeners, found to be the brightest yellow?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 9:05AM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

John: Nice looking set of beans! I'm growing two yellow wax plants that are about a foot & a half tall so far. Those things take off as seedlings! Next time, I'll just plant them straight into my large pot & not worry about starting the seeds in something else. I started the seeds in a small Tupperware container & 2 weeks later when I was finally able/ready to transplant them, they were almost a foot tall & the roots had completely taken over the Tupperware. I didn't have much trouble getting them out of it...lol...any advice for a good harvest? The plants seem to be doing quite well since I transplanted them into a good size planter. I don't believe that leaving them in the small containers for that long affected them. Take care - Steve

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 4:26PM
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fusion_power

This is an interesting old thread to read up on. I am growing Neckargold pole beans this year. I've been impressed with the production and flavor. The beans are nicely formed slightly flattened pods about 5/16 inch diameter. Flavor is light, slightly buttery, sweet and delicious.

I have grown Miraviglia Venezia and enjoyed them in the past though they are not nearly as good as the Neckargold.

DarJones

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 1:38AM
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ppod(6 SE NY)

I'm trying to grow Neckargold, but mine are very slow and preferred by slugs over other beans, so few has survived. Anyway, planted more seeds yesterday.

Fusion, would you say Neckargold is a late bean? Would you know of a seed source?

Heritage Harvest Seed, a Canadian company ($3 extra postage to US), has a few yellow wax beans in its remarkable collection of old varieties; I'll try the brown-seeded next year, I think.

Some years back, I grew Marvel of Venice (or so it said on the pack), a beauty, very long, flat pods w/large seeds, but tough, couldn't eat it fresh. Good for shellies and dry beans, I'd think. It grew in a spot without full sun but was prolific nevertheless. Not bothered by bugs at all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Heritage Harvest Seed

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 9:04AM
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fusion_power

Neckargold is available from Sandhill Preservation.

DarJones

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 7:08PM
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ppod(6 SE NY)

Thanks, Fusion.

From now on, I'll use row covers (if needed) and plant my beans much earlier, long before the slugs become active, so the beans are way up on the trellis by the time, the slugs know what's happened. This year the beans went in late because the long, cold spring and projected last frost around May 25.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 2:02PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Here's a pic of my Yellow Wax Bean plants so far. Yes, the pot is lacking in soil a bit cuz I ran out...lol...gonna go get some more later today after I get off work. :)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 4:50PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

These plants are climbing like King Kong in NYC. I thought they were ok for pots (Yellow Wax Beans), but maybe not? Since I already have them in there, I'm just going to buy them something to climb on, I guess. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 6:12PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

That tall plant now has a purple flower on top of it! :) I did not expect it to flower so soon. I figured it would grow to 4-5 ft before it did. Wow...Does that mean i'm gonna get beans soon?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 11:16AM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

I feel like I'm talking to myself here...lol...well, Steve, here is a pic of your flower you mentioned. ;)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 6:33PM
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macmex

Sorry, I have only checked this thread every couple days. I couldn't load your picture either.

If you have a flower, then in all likelihood you'll have a bean soon. Beans don't make so many false starts as do tomatoes.

George

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 10:31AM
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aclum

Hi,

My first year growing beans after many, many years. I'm growing, among other things, Kentucky Wonder Wax Pole Beans from Pinetree seeds. Harvested the first ones tonight - very large with plumped out seeds (had missed them earlier so they sort of got away from me). I cooked them up and WOW - they're delicious!! Don't have any other yellow wax beans to compare, but these get a thumbs up from me!

Anne

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:51PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

I picked my first few beans this weekend. I simply boiled them in water for 10-15 minutes & they tasted excellent! Below is an updated picture of my plants.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 3:52PM
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drloyd

Kentucky Wonder Wax did not like our climate here at all and was a failure.

Anellino Giallo is a "shrimp bean" shaped like a fish hook. I grow the black seed version. It is string free and has very fine texture and flavor that continues until the pods are full with mature seeds and are almost dry. Last year I had to restrain myself from picking the mature pods so that I could save seed. - Dick

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 9:22AM
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macmex

Well, after four years of heat and drought and a major grasshopper plague, I lost the last of my Barksdale seed. It expired. Only had three plants, which I managed to coax into germinating. They had very tiny leaves: appeared to be growing, and then WHAM! They were eaten by grasshoppers. So, if anyone reads this, who has seed, please contact me.

George
Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 8:13AM
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drloyd

George I am very sorry to hear about this. I know that this is a valuable family heirloom.

I grew them in the summer of 2009. At that time I did not keep as complete records as I do now but I don't think I started them in pots. That gave them a late start. An early hard frost on October 11 gave them an early finish. The result was that none of the pods softened and the seeds were small and immature.

I did save back a dozen of your original 2008 seeds though. Thirteen actually.

So, I can mail them all to you. Or I can mail most them but keep back a couple to attempt a grow out. I have your mailing address from the 2012 yearbook.

I think you sent some to Annette but she appears to be seriously ill and does not answer my emails.

You sent some to NY VA B and also VA BA R and both of them offered them this year in the SSE Yearbook. Dick

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:17AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"I think you sent some to Annette but she appears to be seriously ill and does not answer my emails."

What??!! I wondered why I had not seen her much here lately. Hoping everything is OK; I'll have to send here well wishes.

The only wax bean I am growing this year is a replenishment crop of "Tisa"... which looks like it will be a failure. Unfortunate, given that I was only able to plant 4 beans this year, and expect success from only two of them.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 1:38AM
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