if you have tips for what to look for (or links to articles on the topic)? i do recall a past bean thread conversation about bush, runner, half-runner and such, so i'll go digging for that before planting season starts...
I think this is what you are talking about. I saved it from Russ's post where I could find it.
Pole beans growth habit is 8 ft or more. Many pole beans will actually grow to 12 ft. or more. Half runners are the 4 to 6 ft catagory, and semi runners about 2 to 3 feet.
The main things I look for(other than dried bean pattern) are growth habit, flower color, and pod color/pattern. Flower color can be tricky and has messed me up. Some plants can have different color of flowers on the same plant. I've had the same plant with yellow and white or others with both white and pink flowers. The different parts of the bean flower can have different colors too.
The main thing with me for the pods is whether they are solid green or if they are green with purple stripes. Some turn interesting colors as they are maturing and drying out. Tricia had some beautiful pink pods as the matured a couple of years ago. I've had some that turned a pretty bright red as they dried. There are a lot of other differences in pods too. Some are wide and flat, some tight and round, some in between. Some are stringless, some stringed. Some can be used as green snap beans, some are too fibrous.
You can get different sizes and shapes of the dried beans too. When I grew Karachaganak this year I got one that was more oval and another that was more rounded. I plan to grow both this year to see if that difference is repeatable or just a way that it can vary. That's another fun part. Some are very precise in how they grow, some can naturally vary a bit, even in the same pod. I'm going to play with Miss T next year to see how much variation I get. These came from the same plant. I think the white one is a reverse (for some reason the colors/patterns are reversed) but some of the others have somewhat different patterns and some are browner than others. I hope that variation continues as a set trait, it would make it an interesting bean.
@Ridgerunner thanks! that looks like the one i was thinking of. some time ago i ran across a mention of a book about beans that i wanted to read, alas i did not write it down or bookmark it and i've not been able to find it since to request it via the library...
@destinduck i'm not sure what you mean by butter beans, but those look interesting. are they a lima bean or field pea/cowpea (aka blackeyed pea varieties) or a regular bean? climbing? bush? in between?
trying to get things consolidated, still have a ways to go, but getting there, this is about 2/3rds of selections grown last season. will likely not be getting back to more sorting for a few weeks or more. goodbye my pretties!
Looking for another bean.....Ralph's Italian Heirloom, here's a picture of some older seed.
Is anyone still growing this one? Nobody I know has any viable seed. I'm trying to germinate a few I bought from Victory Seeds in 2013, day 3, nothing yet .
I believe it may have been traded as just plain "Ralph".
A little History.... "Ralph's Italian Heirloom"
A green snap bean, really good flavour. Originally came from Tom Gallucci (tjg911) in Connecticut. -
OR-100 days, this pole type green bean variety has classically flat podded, Italian-type bean pods. Tender and tasty when young. the vines grow 10 feet or more in height.
This bean is being reintroduced by us (Victory Seeds) as a special project in memory of a bean variety conservationist, horticultural bibliophile, and an early benefactor of ours, the late Mark Futterman. At the onset of his end-of-life failing health, had the foresight to find homes for his life's work.
Mark received this heirloom bean from a seed saver (OK MC G) back in 1987. Rare and in very limited supply for the 2013 season. When we run out, ad yourself to the waiting list and we will notify you next year as soon as the harvest is complete. Each packet contains one ounce, which is approximately 50 seeds.
Another bean variety about to hit the dust .