Seed List

Jiahma

Climbing French Bean Jiahma

Originally from the Ukraine these beans were named by our donor using the initals of her husband and his four sisters. Produces white flowers and yellow-green pods containing small beans that are delicious gently steamed. The pretty bicoloured white and maroon/brown seeds can also be used dried. We would welcome your opinion on this variety.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Green varieties
Organic

Kew Blue

Climbing French Bean Kew Blue

Originally from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, this variety has been handed down for at least three generations in our donor's family. The purple-pink flowers are complemented by purple-tinged leaves and stems, and followed by flat purple pods. A healthy and vigorous vine producing a prolific crop of tender pods. Perfect for eating fresh or freezing, and when dried the beans have a rich, nutty flavour.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Coloured varieties

Lazy Housewife

Climbing French Bean Lazy Housewife

A German heritage variety popular there since the early 1800s. Thought to have earned its name as at the end of the season the leaves wither and expose the pods making them easy to pick. Growing to around 2.5m in height this white-flowered variety is hardy and resilient, and very productive. One of our Seed Guardians commented that “the beans just kept coming; I grew tired of picking them every other day! The flavour is superb.” Also copes well with hot, dry conditions.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Green varieties

Major Cook's Bean

Climbing French Bean Major Cook's Bean

Passed to our donor, Mr Luxton, by his father in 1960. Mr Luxton Sr. was given these bicoloured seeds by Major Cook, a colleague in The Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Albert, France. Major Cook was a keen gardener, trained at Kew. The beans were probably originally developed in Southampton in about 1900 by experimental horticulturist Alderman Vokes (Major Cook's grandfather). Produces pretty purple-violet flowers followed by a huge crop of stringless beans with a very fine flavour.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Coloured varieties

Majorcan Pea Bean

Climbing French bean Majorcan Pea Bean seeds

This pea bean was donated by a member who discovered them in a Majorcan market during the late 1980s. The seeds are the typical bicolour of pea beans; however, the maroon half is additionally striped with brown. Produces tall (up to 2.5m), strong vines and a good yield of tasty pods, but can be a little stringy if used fresh, and is best used as a drying bean.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Green varieties

Montezuma's Red

Dwarf French Bean Montezuma's Red

Early and prolific, this variety is described as a dwarf bean, but has a tendency to climb to around 1-1.5m and requires some support. Small creamish-yellow flowers are followed by flattened pods, perfect for using fresh when young, but even better as a dried bean once mature. Garden Organic's Sally Cunningham says that they are meaty and succulent, ideal for bean burgers or chilli. 

10 seeds
French bean
Dwarf
Green varieties

Mr Fearn's Purple Flowered

Climbing French Bean Mr Fearn's Purple Flowered

Donor Bernard Fearn has been growing this variety since WWII, though they existed many years before that. The pretty purple flowers are followed by long, silky pods. Mr Fearn says, “They grow very well in a cold greenhouse – avoid hot sun or outside growing.” Seed Guardian Carol Baxter adds, “You can't fault this bean, it has great taste, yields and looks good too!” The juicy, tender and sweet beans are ideal for freezing, a good job as it is so prolific.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Green varieties

O'Driscoll

Climbing French Bean O'Driscoll (flower)

These bicoloured beans were given to our donor, Mr O'Driscoll, by his father, who had grown and saved them for many years. A vigorous and prolific variety, it is earlier than many French beans. Seed Guardian Ian Thomas describes them as “a pleasure to grow”. Flat, green pods flecked with purple follow mauve flowers. Can be eaten as whole pods when young, or left to mature and shelled.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Coloured varieties
Organic

Parfree's Dragon Tongue

Dwarf French Bean Parfree's Dragon Tongue seeds

Colin Parfree obtained this variety from his neighbour, who had in turn been given them by a friend who travelled extensively in China, where they are thought to have originated. Compact, sturdy plants produce green pods with thin, deep violet stripes. An easy care, easy grow bean that could be used in pots for decorative purposes. The young pods are tender and tasty, and the dried beans have excellent flavour.

10 seeds
French bean
Dwarf
Coloured varieties

Pea Bean Inca

Climbing French Bean Pea Bean Inca

Our donor acquired these seeds from a street market in Inca, Majorca that sold only local produce. Growing to around 1.8-2m in height, this variety produces delicate, cream flowers followed by large, flat pods containing white and burgundy bicoloured beans. The young beans are not stringy and have a mild flavour. Dried beans make an interesting addition to soups and stews.

10 seeds
French bean
Climbing
Green varieties
Organic