2022 Little Easy Bean Network - We Are Beans Without Borders

Zeedman

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Yes, they are much more popular than common beans here. The info in your link is accurate, they are from tropical countries but specifically the cooler highlands.

There are also crimson flowers on the purple-podded varieties, like this heirloom from Shropshire on the Welsh border.
View attachment 51158
Aside from Aeron Purple Star, are there other purple-podded runner beans in the U.K.?

I concur with @Triffid 's remarks about the geographic origins of runner beans. Yes, tropical latitudes - but higher, cooler altitudes. There are no hybrid bean varieties (other than in breeding programs) since the low amount of seed produced per pollination makes hybridization impractical.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Aside from Aeron Purple Star, are there other purple-podded runner beans in the U.K.?

I concur with @Triffid 's remarks about the geographic origins of runner beans. Yes, tropical latitudes - but higher, cooler altitudes. There are no hybrid bean varieties (other than in breeding programs) since the low amount of seed produced per pollination makes hybridization impractical.
Well, someone on my other plant forum managed it (crossed the Fort Portal Violet I sent him with a runner, and got back some seed.)
 

Zeedman

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I don't grow many bush beans, but a few of those often send up one 2-3' runner. Both Atlas & Uzice did that this year. Those runners don't get many flowers & are long enough to tangle, so I usually just trim them off. The plants will not send up another runner (so they are not half-runner types) and the pruning doesn't appear to affect the yield.
Well, it seems that Uzice is behaving unusually this year. It did send up additional runners, some of which are 3-4' long. Those runners were over-running the adjoining row of Swiss chard & becoming a tangled mess, so I had to put up some strings to support them. Uzice was previously grown twice in the rural garden; it seems to like the soil in my home garden better. The plants are much more vigorous, and flowering more heavily, than my previous grow outs.
20220809_184042.jpg



The other bush bean, Atlas, did not grow additional runners. Many of its pods have reached snap stage; however, I grow this variety for its large shellies.
20220809_185805.jpg
 

flowerbug

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i did a taste test today of twelve different beans.

six of them were Robert Lobitz purple beans. they were all edible but i would prefer other beans over them as a fresh eating bean (except Purple Dove). as i didn't have enough beans of these to pick and cook i didn't do a cooked fresh bean comparison for them. the real test of all of these will be for next year when i should have enough seeds to cook some pods (i hope, things look ok so far).

the other beans were three wax beans and three green beans. all of those were also edible and i did cook up some of those because i have enough seeds in reserve so i could pick a few more pods.

Pisarecka Zlutoluske was one of the beans i was interested in sampling fresh and also a few pods for cooking. it was edible and does well enough here to keep growing but it isn't quite comparable to the other wax beans. if i can get it to cross with another bean to improve the texture and flavor it will be worth the effort. the important point about PZ is that the seeds are distinctive enough that i can plant them as part of a mix and still be able to recover the seeds - nothing else i grow is comparable in both color and shape.

i'll do another fresh pod taste test of other varieties later this week.
 

meadow

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Regarding Kentucky Wonder White vs Old Homestead:

Some months ago I was researching Lazy Wife's Pole Bean in old Burpee catalogs and made note of two different versions of Kentucky Wonder, a white-seeded and a brown-seeded, being sold at the same time. In cleaning up my notes, I went ahead and did some sleuthing and thought I'd share the results in case anyone here might be interested.

Basically the two lines break down like this (keep in mind this is based solely on the Burpee seed catalog descriptions/listings, 1883-ish to 1953 & 1959):

Bean #1, the Old Homestead line: Round pod, brown seed; first appears in the 1892 seed catalog as "Old Homestead (Improved Kentucky Wonder)", a large-podded improvement to "Southern Prolific." Southern Prolific had been in their catalog since 1884, with a name change in 1886 to "Southern Prolific or Kentucky Wonder."

These two beans (Southern Prolific/KY Wonder & Old Homestead/Improved KY Wonder) were sold side-by-side for 20 10 (oops!) years, until Bean #2's 'parent' (Burger's Stringless) came onto the scene in 1905, at which time Southern Prolific/KY Wonder was discontinued. In 1900, the word "Improved" was removed from Old Homestead's name, and "Kentucky Wonder" was removed from Southern Prolific's name.

Bean #2, the white-seeded line: Flat pod, white seed; first appears in 1940 as "White Seeded Rust-resistant Kentucky Wonder." This was an improved version of a German bean, "Burger's Stringless Green-Pod." Burger's Stringless first appeared in the 1905 catalog with comparisons to Old Homestead in the description (it was earlier and even thicker - more "saddleback" - than Old Homestead, judging from the descriptions). Six years later, Burger's Stringless was beginning to also be known as "White-Seeded Kentucky Wonder" and the two names were basically synonymous in the Burpee catalog by the 1930's. [note: if you have a flat-podded White-Seeded Kentucky Wonder, it is not this bean but (very likely) the 'improved and rust-resistant' strain that came later. This one is round and by all accounts an impressive example of saddle-backing.]

In 1940, Burger's Stringless was replaced by "White Seeded Rust-resistant Kentucky Wonder. An improved and rust-resistant strain of Burger's Stringless or White-Seeded Kentucky Wonder." This new strain had flat pods.

From 1940 to 1948, Bean #1 was listed as "Kentucky Wonder or Old Homestead" (later just "Kentucky Wonder") and Bean # 2 was listed as "White Seeded Rust-resistant Kentucky Wonder" (which became "Kentucky Wonder, Rust Resistant").

And there you have it, or at least up into the 1950's and according to Burpee. One with round pods and brown seed; the other with flat pods and white seed.
 
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HmooseK

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Aside from Aeron Purple Star, are there other purple-podded runner beans in the U.K.?

I concur with @Triffid 's remarks about the geographic origins of runner beans. Yes, tropical latitudes - but higher, cooler altitudes. There are no hybrid bean varieties (other than in breeding programs) since the low amount of seed produced per pollination makes hybridization impractical.
@Zeedman
It’s not a runner bean, but I have a friend that sent me a few of these.

 

Zeedman

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@Zeedman
It’s not a runner bean, but I have a friend that sent me a few of these.

@HmooseK , I grew Kew Blue about 10 years ago. For me, it was similar/identical to Trionfo Violetto, which I had also grown; long narrow flat pods, with fairly good flavor - but at least for me, relatively low productivity. I stopped growing both, in favor of several higher-yielding purple-podded beans such as Grandma Robert's (round podded) and Czechoslovakian (flat podded).
 

Triffid

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Aside from Aeron Purple Star, are there other purple-podded runner beans in the U.K.?
There are just a few that I know of personally. They are heirlooms; modern commercially bred varieties are all green.

Blackpod (flower depicted in my previous post), at least a century old and with deep purple pods. The colour is good even at eating size.
Yardstick, from south Wales, is very similar in appearance to Blackpod.
Salford Black, which is said to have some purple colouration in the pods. Growing it for the first time this year and the flowers are scarlet rather than crimson, with very little antho in the inflorescence. So I don't expect the same intensity of colour as with the aforementioned varieties.
Chapman's Purple. I haven't grown this one but it is kept by the HSL.
 

Jack Holloway

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Regarding Kentucky Wonder White vs Old Homestead:

Some months ago I was researching Lazy Wife's Pole Bean in old Burpee catalogs and made note of two different versions of Kentucky Wonder, a white-seeded and a brown-seeded, being sold at the same time. In cleaning up my notes, I went ahead and did some sleuthing and thought I'd share the results in case anyone here might be interested.

Basically the two lines break down like this (keep in mind this is based solely on the Burpee seed catalog descriptions/listings, 1883-ish to 1953 & 1959):

Bean #1, the Old Homestead line: Round pod, brown seed; first appears in the 1892 seed catalog as "Old Homestead (Improved Kentucky Wonder)", a large-podded improvement to "Southern Prolific." Southern Prolific had been in their catalog since 1884, with a name change in 1886 to "Southern Prolific or Kentucky Wonder."

These two beans (Southern Prolific/KY Wonder & Old Homestead/Improved KY Wonder) were sold side-by-side for 20 10 (oops!) years, until Bean #2's 'parent' (Burger's Stringless) came onto the scene in 1905, at which time Southern Prolific/KY Wonder was discontinued. In 1900, the word "Improved" was removed from Old Homestead's name, and "Kentucky Wonder" was removed from Southern Prolific's name.

Bean #2, the white-seeded line: Flat pod, white seed; first appears in 1940 as "White Seeded Rust-resistant Kentucky Wonder." This was an improved version of a German bean, "Burger's Stringless Green-Pod." Burger's Stringless first appeared in the 1905 catalog with comparisons to Old Homestead in the description (it was earlier and even thicker - more "saddleback" - than Old Homestead, judging from the descriptions). Six years later, Burger's Stringless was beginning to also be known as "White-Seeded Kentucky Wonder" and the two names were basically synonymous in the Burpee catalog by the 1930's. [note: if you have a flat-podded White-Seeded Kentucky Wonder, it is not this bean but (very likely) the 'improved and rust-resistant' strain that came later. This one is round and by all accounts an impressive example of saddle-backing.]

In 1940, Burger's Stringless was replaced by "White Seeded Rust-resistant Kentucky Wonder. An improved and rust-resistant strain of Burger's Stringless or White-Seeded Kentucky Wonder." This new strain had flat pods.

From 1940 to 1948, Bean #1 was listed as "Kentucky Wonder or Old Homestead" (later just "Kentucky Wonder") and Bean # 2 was listed as "White Seeded Rust-resistant Kentucky Wonder" (which became "Kentucky Wonder, Rust Resistant").

And there you have it, or at least up into the 1950's and according to Burpee. One with round pods and brown seed; the other with flat pods and white seed.
Thanks for the info. Most interesting.

I remember reading years (decades) ago that white seeded varieties of stringbeans (snap beans, green beans) were bred to replace the brown seeded varieties because of canning. The brown seeded varieties had a an off color water that was unappealing, while the white seeded ones did not. At least this was done for the Blue Lake variety. Probably old news, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
 

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