Scarlet Runner Beans, A Perennial Bean for Food and Beauty

Scarlet Runner Bean Seeds

Scarlet runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) are beautiful plants that are easy to grow, and are often grown just for their red flowers.

Use taller stakes than I did!

A trellis or 8-10′ pole is necessary because the vines wind their way up high.

Eat green beans when small

They produce a broad bean that can be eaten very young when green, or allowed to dry and the seeds harvested for storing and cooking later.

Shell the pods to store in a dark, cool place

The seeds are a spectacular purple and black, making this whole plant ornamental.  Cook the seeds before eating them.

Beautiful purple and black seeds

The entire plant is also edible, including the starchy roots. The flowers and young tendrils dress up a salad.  Although the vine will die down for the winter, the roots will live on in areas where they won’t receive heavy frost.  They are native to many places in South America and have been harvested for hundreds of years.  This is a perennial bean which will live about six years with care.  It is also a nitrogen-fixer, which is excellent for your soil. How fantastic is that?

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