Seed List

Black Valentine

Dwarf French Bean Black Valentine

Syn. King of the Garden & May Queen. Introduced by New Jersey seed merchants Peter Henderson & Company in 1897, possibly as a renaming of an old bean known since the 1850s. Produces pretty lilac flowers and straight, slender, stringless pencil pods, which have a lovely flavour and freeze well. The jet-black seeds are very good for drying. It is attractive, very prolific, yet neat and tidy. 

10 seeds
French bean
Dwarf
Green varieties

Bob and Mary

Climbing French Bean Bob and Mary

This tasty and prolific bean was donated by Seed Guardian Liz Ramsay, who was given the seeds by her sister's partner, a native of British Columbia, Canada. His family have grown this variety since the beginning of the 20th century. It is thought that the family received the beans as payment for help repairing farm equipment for a Ukrainian neighbour. Liz says, “The pods can be eaten at all stages: juicy and young, tender and mature or even as a dried bean.”

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Green varieties

Bonne Bouche

Climbing French Bean Bonne Bouche

Originating in the city of Rouen, capital of the Normandy Region in France, in the 1950s, this vigorous (1.8-2.4m) ex-commercial variety looks beautiful grown on a wigwam support with its pairs of delicate white flowers and large green leaves. The long green pods have a slight red stripe and are tender and flavoursome when young. When mature the podded beans are delicious.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Coloured varieties

Box

Climbing French Bean Box

This white-flowered pea bean will crop reliably and prolifically in the British climate. Seed Guardian Jane Few says, “The beans are tasty at whatever stage they are picked”. The stringless pods provide fresh, tender and delicious haricots when picked young; also perfect for shelling.  As a dried bean they resemble pretty little bicoloured bird's eggs, ideal for winter storage and for use in soups and stews.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Green varieties
Organic

Carter's Polish

Climbing French bean Carter's Polish

Named after our donor who was the Organic Gardener at the Environ Eco House Project, Leicester from 1998 to 2013. The seeds were discovered in an old cocoa tin, but with no other information. It produces tall plants (around 2.4m in height) with dark green leaves, purple flowers and stringless, mottled purple pods, which turn dark green when cooked. Guardian Eluned Paramor says, “They laughed at the dry weather and took the rabbit attack as a challenge!” Best used as a (very tasty) dried bean.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Coloured varieties

Coco Bicolour

Climbing French Bean Coco Bicolour

This old French variety yields one of the prettiest beans in the collection; they are neatly zoned into a cream area and a purple mottled area. Early, vigorous and prolific with vines reaching up to 2.75m tall. One of our Guardians in northern England found that this was particularly suited to her conditions. When young they have a delicious nutty, beany flavour, and their intriguing appearance when dried makes attractive soups, stews and casseroles.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Coloured varieties

Emperor of Russia

Dwarf French Bean Emperor of Russia

Syn. Longfellow. Donated to us by Harlow Carr Botanic Garden, Harrogate. This fine haricot bean produces neat plants with white flowers followed by slim and crisp pencil pods, which are stringless when young. Seed Guardian Bill Dale comments, “I probably shouldn't say it but in the many years I've grown it, no disease or other problems. A crisp and crunchy treat when eaten fresh and young. A good, no-nonsense bean!”

10 seeds
French bean
Dwarf
Green varieties

Ernie's Big Eye

Dwarf French Bean Black African Bean

Donated in the early 1980s by an American member, this selection of the ancient ‘Trout’ variety produces pale-green, luscious young pods, or, if allowed to dry, tasty white seeds speckled with burgundy. Carries pods high on the compact plants so may need staking later in the season. Found by Seed Guardians to be particularly disease resistant.

10 seeds
French bean
Dwarf
Green varieties

Extra Hatif de Juillet

Climbing French Bean Extra Hatif de Juillet

Our donor has never wanted to grow another haricot since discovering this one, originally purchased from a French market stall in the early 1950s. Once established this white seeded bean is fast-growing and vigorous, producing white flowers and flat pods, which bulge around the plump beans, until the first frosts. Flavoursome and completely stringless, even when fully mature.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Green varieties

Ice/Crystal Wax

Dwarf French Bean Ice Crystal Wax seeds

Dating back to at least 1882, this Dutch-bred variety was used by the English as a forcing bean for hothouses. Produces compact plants (30-50cm) with white flowers followed by green pods that lighten with age to almost a silver-white giving, with a little imagination, the impression of icicles. Great fresh; either raw in salads when very young, or lightly steamed. Good flavour and texture when cooked after freezing, also dries well for use as a pulse. Sow to harvest 50-70 days (approx.)

10 seeds
French bean
Dwarf
Coloured varieties