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Beans: Phaseolus coccineus

Botanical name: Phaseolus coccineus

Common name: scarlet runner bean

also known as (Dutch case-knife bean, scarlet runner, runner bean, Aztec bean, butterfly runner, fire bean, multiflora bean)

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created by:
Renee's Garden

at a glance

Soil: damp, acidic, sand
Zones: 8a thru 10b

climber, edible

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description for "Beans: Phaseolus coccineus"

Vigorous scarlet runner bean plants twine into showy full-leafed 10 to 12 foot vines as quickly as Jack’s beanstalks. They are soon covered with sprays of brilliant scarlet blossoms that attract hungry hummingbirds. Flowers are followed by wide, meaty edible pods. Left on the vines, the fat pods swell with fascinating big black and purple swirled “magic beans” to treasure (or cook up), or save and plant for another summer’s fairy tale garden. Always wait until weather is warm before planting seeds so beans will germinate and grow well. Keep bean vines well watered. In very hot climates, beans will flower but not set pods until weather moderates in fall. Both the crispy bean flavored blossoms and the flat green pods are deliciously edible; let some of the pretty purple and black beans mature in their pods to use for tasty dry bean recipes. Ornamental beans are a charming addition to the garden. The climbing types are useful as a backdrop or living screen. Provide support such as a trellis, fence or teepee of 3 or 4 bean poles. Phaseolus coccineus is a vining bean grown primarily for its brilliant red flowers which show up nicely against attractive green heart-shaped foliage. The vigorous vines grow quickly and easily on a trellis or fence. The bright blooms, held in clusters on 12 inch stems, are followed by pods that are edible and tasty when young. Keeps the pods picked for continuous blossoms. -- edited by dtd pbcouchman


Phaseolus coccineus is native to the tropical Americas.

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