Insuk's Wang Kong (Runner bean)
I thought I'd start a thread on this bean, as it is quite an interesting variety. A couple of us received seed of Insuk's Wang Kong from Gardenweb member Jim Wright and have trialed it this year. This is basically a Scarlet Runner bean, but with Korean roots. I believe the Wright's source originally told them that they thought it was brought from China. Anyway, here's what I've observed:
1) This has the largest seed of any runner bean I've ever seed. The seed is about twice the size of regular runner bean seed.
2) Insuk's Wang Kong flowers very profusely. It produced a cloud of red flowers in my garden this year.
3) This bean is remarkably heat tolerant for a runner bean. Most runner beans which I've grown would probably have done alright in NJ, but not here in Oklahoma. I grew some runner beans in the high desert of Hidalgo Mexico, in the 90s, as an experiment. They tolerated alkaline conditions but wouldn't make seed due to the dry air conditions and hot days we experienced. I believe Insuk's Wang Kong has a chance at making seed in, what are to runner beans, a hostile environment.
Unfortunately, we had over 1 1/2 months of 100 degree F. plus days, just as mine were setting on pods. The plants survived for about a month and then gave up the ghost. When I shelled the pods I had very little seed, and most of it was not properly matured. I will, however, try to get this one in earlier and later, next year. I do believe it can make it here. Jim has reported to me that some have had success in AZ!
While I don't expect to produce a heavy surplus of snaps with this variety, it is truly beautiful and would be tasty for sure. I didn't dare eat these beans, but once, I did try one raw pod. It was sweet and tender.
Jim and Chris, chip in here and give us some feedback, okay?