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Top 5's

Posted by booberry85 z5NY ( on
Fri, Jan 8, 10 at 8:58

I thought it would be fun to have a Top 5 legume thread. You may want to break up your top 5's into different categories like Top 5 Snaps, Top 5 Shells, Top 5 Dry, Top 5 Pole, Top 5 Bush, Top 5 Cow Peas, etc. As for me, I've only grown snaps but I like both pole & bush beans.

Top 5 Bush Beans (snaps)
1. Derby
2. Burpee Stringless
3. Kinghorn Wax
4. Blue Lake
5. Purple Queen

Top 5 Pole Beans (snaps)
1. Cherokee Trail of Tears
2. Rattlesnake Pole
3. Kentucky Wonder
4. Asparagus
5. Green Annelino

My Top 5's are based primarily on productivity & taste.

So what are your Top 5's? The one you can't do without?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Top 5's

  • Posted by anney Georgia 8 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 8, 10 at 9:20

Pinkeye purplehull Southern peas
Any green baby limas
Fortex pole beans
Tall Telephone (Alderman) peas
Snap peas, forgot the variety

RE: Top 5's

Snap beans (bush)
1. Kentucky King
2. Valentino
3. Purple Queen
4. Mountain Half Runner
5. Contender

Snap beans (pole)
1. Kentucky Wonder
2. McCaslan
3. Missouri Wonder
4. Little Greasy
5. Romano
Southern peas
1. Big Boy
2. Pinkeye Purple Hull
3. Collosal
4. Black Crowder
5. Purple Knuckle Hull
1, Thorogreen
2. Henderson's Baby
3. Dixie Butterpea (speckled)
4. Dixie Butterpea (white)
5. Baby Fordhook
English peas
1. Dakota
2. Strike
3. Green Arrow
4. Frosty
5. Willet's Wonder

RE: Top 5's

I've only grown pole snap beans and only 3 varieties in the last 40 or so years. This year I'm looking forward to adding more to my meagre list. Of my 3...
Cherokee Trail of Tears and my Italians are running neck and neck as our favorites, then Mr. Tung's. It might be a different story next year, thanks to some very generous GWer's I have quite a selection to choose from :).


RE: Top 5's

  • Posted by anney Georgia 8 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 8, 10 at 12:33


You reminded me! I forgot to add my Smeraldo Italian pole beans, which are very flavorful and prolific.

RE: Top 5 bush snaps for hot, dry climates

The list below includes bush snap beans for hot, relatively dry climates. Don't have enough experience with limas, pole beans or soybeans to make a choice between varieties. Pole beans take some coddling here. Cowpeas do well here. Blackeyed peas especially. But back to heat-tolerant snap bush beans.

1. Brio - sown spring or fall. Takes brief temperatures over 100 degrees without curling or toughening. White seeds sprout well in hot soil in fall. Flavor and texture are nice.

2. Festina - I've only tried this one in the spring. Also takes 100 degree temps. - if not continuous. Flavor and texture are nice. There are more varieties coming out now with good heat tolerance.

3. Romanette - the closest I can come to a Romano type here for a decent crop from spring planting. Sweet, tender, halfway between a Romano and American type. Relatively heat tolerant. I really like the flavor of this one.

4. Contender - for my in-laws who like "beany" beans. Early, productive in spring. Fibrous (not stringy) in cool fall weather, sometimes to the point of inedibility. No such problems when spring-sown. It is clear that this variety was bred for hot-summer climates, although it is not as heat-tolerant as some of the newer varieties (It is can be planted in cooler soil than most of the newer ones).

5. Maxibel - the most heat-tolerant bush filet type I've tried. Curls some over 100 degrees, but still tender. Some of the other filet types produce very small curled, leathery, hollow beans at similar temperatures.

I also like Black Valentine and Coco Rose de Prague for fall sowing. If the pods get tough in cold weather, you can use the seeds as "shellies".

Worst bush snap beans for our climate are the New England varieties like Bountiful (plants sunburn) and Provider (no production whatsoever.)

RE: Top 5's

My top five, unsorted by type because I haven't grow so many, are:

1. Fortex (pole snap)

2. White Willow Leaf (pole lima)

3. Tarbais (pole dry)

4. Pinkeye Purple Hull (cowpea)

5. Dixie Speckled Butterpea (bush lima)


RE: Top 5's

Pole beans:
Tennessee Cutshort & Childers Cutshort (apparently identical)
Cherokee Cornhill Pole Bean
Long Cut Old Timey Greasy
Barksdale Wax Pole

These, I can vouch for, though Barksdale can be a little particular, as it doesn't like extreme heat, especially hot nights, to set pods. We're stuck on tender podded beans, like many Appalachian heirlooms. They have strings, but stay tender for A LONG TIME and have good beany flavor.

Bush Bean: I only grow one: Fowler Bush, and heirloom which was carried over the Oregon Trail to Washington State.

In 2009 I grew Cooper's Running Snap, an heirloom from Morven Georgia. This may be a strain of Rattlesnake. But I have never grown Rattlesnake. This one isn't a tender podded bean (as described above). But it makes a good snap and in its first year of trial, I have to say that it is EXTREMELY well suited for hot conditions and exceedingly productive. Will grow it again for further consideration.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sustainable Mountain Agriculture/ Tender podded beans

RE: Top 5's

~Still Lurking~

Keep those Top 5 Lists coming!

RE: Top 5's

I have not grown that many, so I am only listing as bush and pole, but different species:

baby limas (shellies)
purple hull (shellies)
kentucky wonders
peas (edible pods)

kentucky wonders
yard longs
red scarlet runners
gold of bacau
soisson verts

RE: Top 5's

This was a fun list to compile, especially as I begin to scale back my collecting efforts.

Green snaps:
"Fortex" (pole)
"Emerite" (pole
"Garafal Oro" (pole)
"Pole 191" (pole, a.k.a. "white-seeded Kentucky Wonder")
"Greencrop" (bush)

Yellow snaps:
"Goldmarie" (pole)
"Zlatac" (pole, heirloom)(also good shelly)
"Maradan Hill" (pole, heirloom)

"Ma Williams" (pole, a.k.a. "Goose")
"Bird Egg #3" (pole)
"Giant Red Tarka" (bush)
"Chester" (a.k.a. "Flagg")
"Chiclet" & "Rose" have outstanding flavor, but are poorly adapted to my Northern climate.
"Brita's Foot Long"
"Soissons Vert"

Dry only:
"Light Brown Zebra"

"Sieva" (pole)
"King of the Garden" (pole)
"Fordhook 242" (bush)
"Cave Dweller, Black Seed" (bush)
"Hopi Pole" has the best flavor & yield, but is poorly adapted to my Northern climate.

"Insuk's Wang Kong"
"Tucomares Chocolate"

"Chinese Red Noodle"
"Black Seeded"
"Sierra Madre"
"Yancheng Bush"

"MN 157"
"Pink Eye Purple Hull"
"Fagiolino Dolico Veneto"
"Green Dixie"

"Green Arrow" (shell)
"Mesa" (shell)
"Purple Podded Parsley" (shell)
"Golderbse" (soup)

"Takara Early"

Soybean (edamame):
"Karikachi 3"
"Gardensoy 24"
"Sapporo Midori"

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