Runner Beans - red flower/white-with-spots bean?

romanejo(6-7 Rochester, NY)September 7, 2008

I have been growing scarlet runners for a few years, and I'd occasionally get some "sports" in color, but I really liked a white (cream?) with brown flecks that showed up a few years ago. So after all these years, I have decided to try to plant them back and see if I can get a consistent color and flower combination.

Last year I had one particular red-flowered vine on which about half the beans were the white-with-flecks, and this year I definitely have (so far?) one vine with EXCLUSIVELY white-with-flecks. The beans are also MUCH larger than my regular scarlet runners.

Has anyone else already developed that "land race", I think it's called? If so, I would like to know if any are available. It would save me the time and trouble, and then I would have more beans to plant back and try to maintain the "purity" of the strain. So far this season I have 30 of these seeds for next year, and am hoping for more.

Also (VERY important question) I have heard that you can dig up the roots to overwinter and replant in the spring, but need specifics instructions, as I would like to see if I can keep at least this plant going.

In some other posts I saw some people trying to breed for purple-with-flecks beans on red-flowered plants. I get some of those too, but my garden is too small to avoid crossing, so I am trying to limit the colors I grow for next year, nevertheless I would love to know if anyone has purified such a strain yet.

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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

It sounds like some of your neighbors have been growing runner beans. The flowers are very attractive to bees, which will cross-pollinate them from a great distance. Your "sports" are most likely crosses.

There are many white flowered / white-seeded runner beans, such as "Emergo", "Pole Cannelini", "Bond's Orcas Lima", and "Jacks Bean".

"Painted Lady" has bi-colored flowers, and white & brown seeds. "Tocomares Chocolate" also has bi-colored flowers, with seeds that are all brown, or brown & white. You can see a photo of "Tucomares Chocolate" blossoms in the Pole Bean Spacing thread on this forum.

Chances are that one or more of these has crossed with your runner beans, especially if you grew one of them in the past. My guess would be "Painted Lady", since it is fairly popular. Seed Savers Exchange offers it.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 11:19PM
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