The last time I grew Blooming Prairie was three years ago in our very hot and droughty summer. Some of the Blooming Prairie seeds that season were as I pictured them on my website. Purple with a white undercolor. The seeds seem more white in an area around the eye of the bean. About half of my seed turned out basically white with a very slight purple undercolor. What I think happens with Blooming Prairie is the same thing that happens with your horticultural beans. The ones that have a tan background and red speckles and streaks over the entire surface. Some of the seeds in a pod will instead reverse the colors and have a predominately red seed with tan speckles and streaks. I think this is what happens to Blooming Prairie but this bean does this more extensively than what a horticultural bean will do. I would shell many pods of Blooming Prairie and all the seeds in the pod were very white. A horticultural bean will most of the time give you a seed or two within the pod with the pattern reversed and more rarely all the seeds in a pod will be predominately red. Blooming Prairie seems to do this on a bigger and more extensive scale. I have a bunch of other of the Lobitz beans that have that same color and pattern planted this year and will have to see how they turn out. I didn't plant Blooming Prairie this year again but perhaps next year and I'll have to see what the seed of this bean does then.
Oh hello, just noticed I was tagged in this thread! By coincidence I just made a post mentioning climate-related coloring/pattern differences in the Bean Network thread today. Here's a plate of Giant Red Tarka. The ones on the left were grown in Wisconsin, and the ones on the right were grown by me in California (and the ones creeping in on the very far left are Jacob's Cattle so ignore those):
Sounds like that's the kind of results other people have been getting too.
As for Blooming Prairie, I can't say I noticed much color difference due to pod maturity, though it did seem like the larger seeds tended to be paler. Here's a typical sample of my harvest:
Those were grown in a well-irrigated planter at my folks' house, so they might come out a bit different in my more droughty yard. I saw the same thing as Russ, where if the seeds turned out pale, it'd be the whole pod full that was pale.
Dang, that is what I want my BP to look like and instead they looked grey last year. Last year was hot and dry. This year it has been cool and wet so maybe this will affect them. I have also noticed that last year there were no runners and this year they are running all over the place.
I have a feeling that sometimes the method of storage as the beans dry can have an effect on the final color they turn out to be. As think I mentioned before, when I first planted the seed of Fort Portal Mixed it really DID look quite mixed. The coats went from a middle tan, to a medium brown through a sort of maroon (slightly more purple than the iron red one is used to seeing in kidney beans but not by much) down to a deep purple that was for all intents and purposes black (I actually wound up planting one Fort portal mixed in the original pot of Mottled greys (the one that died in the storm) because I couldn't tell it from a not mottled MG which are also black) In fact out of all of the seeds, only ONE was bright purple (and as that one didn't get planted until the second year, after I shared seed out with those who have it, none of the Fort Portal Violet anyone else has in this thread started out so. But when the seed came back, it was all the bright violet color I sent out. And despite now having been grown by people like Seedobessor (whose climate is a bit colder than mine, and soil is richer) and flowerweaver (who's climate is a lot hotter, and soil probably a lot sandier) purple it has remained; no sign of the other shades. The situation with the Bantu mixed (like Fort Portal Jade, but not green) was more or less the same. all kinds of browns and tans going in, with no purple (except the off color Fort Portal Jade I tossed in, no idea if than was one of the ones that produced or not) came back ALL purple. When I get to doing the non mottled MG's next year, assuming I get any that make seed, if those turn out to be purple too, I won't be surprised in the least.