Odd Bean

jimster(z7a MA)September 13, 2006

While picking over a bag of store bought Yellow Eye beans, preparing to make a pot baked beans, I came across one which was different from all the others.

Yellow Eye beans look like Gurnsey cattle. This one looks like a Holstein. I've used many bags of Yellow Eye beans and this is the only one I've seen with this coloration.

So, there are two questions. What do I have and what should I do with it? Which leads to other questions. Is this just a bean of a variety I didn't know about which fell into the Yellow Eye bin. Is it a mutation? If I grow it out next year (imagine the anxiety of trying to successfully grow out a single bean) am I likely to get more 'Holsteins' in future generations? If yes, are they likely to be different from Yellow Eyes in any way except color?

BTW, I believe the name 'Holstein' is already given to another bean.


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My bet is that it's a mutation. My understanding is that color mutations are relatively common in beans. I also bet it would breed true. You're right about how it feels to plant a single unique bean seed. I've done it and lost it. But sometimes it works out. Bet it will taste just exactly the same as the Yellow Eye.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 6:30PM
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It looks like a "soldier bean " or it could be a crossbred bean . grow it see what you get!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 1:11PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I agree with Macmex; the seed pattern appears identical, only the color is different. It is most likely a color mutation.

But since this is "store bought", and commercial growers are less concerned with seed purity, the possibility of a cross does exist.

Either way, it's worth growing, to see if the variation will breed true.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 5:05PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Getting ready for another batch of baked beans, I found more odd ones. Three this time.

Two of these could easily be written off as beans which bounced into the wrong bin at the processing plant. However, after finding that previous oddball, I'm not so quick to draw that conclusion. I now think that crosses or mutations may show up quite regularly in these beans.

The third oddball looks suspiciously like another possible mutation similar to the black and white one. It looks purple and white doesn't it? I was quite excited to see it. But, on close inspection, the color looks less like purple and more like a dark version of the yellow eyes. Still, it might be a new color variation.

By next planting season, I should have a lot of mystery beans to experiment with.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 5:36PM
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That right hand bean is surely a pinto bean. The solid maroon could be a mutation. Do they sell Lowe's Champion where you live? It looks like that. The maroon and red bean indeed looks to me like a mutation of the yellow eye.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 11:07AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

This oddity (cross? mutation?) appeared in a growout of "Black Coat" runner beans.

I rogued out another impurity (wrong flower color) from the same planting earlier in the year, so crossing is the most likely explanation. The color in this photo is not the greatest; the beans are a deep orchid purple. I would love for this color to breed true... probably too much to hope for, but I'll try to isolate it next year.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 3:03AM
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Jimster, the first mutation looks like an Orca, in color if not pattern, and the second photo looks like you got a pinto and a kidney mixed in. Not so bad in cooking beans but I just recently got a kidney and a pinto mixed in when I bought a packet of seed beans!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 10:45AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I thought it looked just like Orca. There are two possible explanations I can think of. Either it is an Orca which got mixed with the Yellow Eyes or Yellow Eyes have a tendency toward that sort of mutation. I don't believe it's the first because Orcas aren't sold in this region and I don't think they are grown and processed in the same region as Yellow Eyes. I could be wrong in that assumption though. It's based on the knowledge that Yellow Eyes are Grown in Maine (but possibly elsewhere as well) and Orcas are not, so far as I know.

I will plant my single "Orca" seed as an experiement and probably the reddish form too. I'm not interested in growing Pintos. They're too easy to get from the store.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 3:06PM
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fliptx(Houston 9)

Those orchid colored beans sure are purty!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 10:32PM
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