Our donor was given seeds of this variety as a gift from a friend in Germany. It is so named as the pattern around the hilum of the seeds resembles an angel. In Germany it is also known as the Monstrance Bean, as these markings also bare some similarity to the shape of the sacred vessels used by the Roman Catholic church. The legend suggests that, during WW1, a French pastor planted beans above his buried artifacts to prevent their discovery. The beans produced by these plants bore the marks we now see. They produce beautiful orange-red flowers followed by flat, green pods packed with the pretty beans, which are perfect for use dried.
These cream seeded beans were brought to the UK from France at the end of WWII. Compact (1.2m) for a climber and thought to be frost resistant and less attractive to slugs than most French beans. Produces beautiful purple flowers followed by dark purple, 12-18cm, plump, flat pods. Guardian Mrs Jane Durston says, “Lovely hot, or blanched and used in salads. Good crisp texture and nutty flavour.”
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.”
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.
This variety derives its name from its dramatic history. The Cherokee nation was displaced by settlers the 1838 and set off on an infamous march that became known as the Trail of Tears. They were only able to take their most precious possessions with them, one of which was this bean. Vigorous vines are prolific producers of succulent young pods that can be eaten raw or cooked, and freeze perfectly. However, this variety is principally for drying, and the small, black beans come into their own in winter stews and soups.
This bean has been grown, selected and saved in its native Cyprus for many years and was given to our donor by an allotment neighbour whose father lives on a small farm there. With very sparse foliage, it produces white flowers followed by an impressive crop of crisp and slender pencil-type pods full of juicy green beans. It also crops over a long period of time.
Our donor was given these beans by her step-daughter, a district nurse who had originally been passed them by an elderly lady in Cardiff. She describes it as, “A delightful bean! Pretty lilac flowers are followed by dramatically coloured pods, green splashed with navy blue.” Our Seed Guardians appear to experience very few pest and disease problems with this variety.
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!”
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.
Thought to have originated in Poland, this variety produces creamish-white flowers followed by very attractive pods that, when mature, are green flushed with red. Can be used fresh as a succulent, stringless green bean, ideal for salads. Alternatively, the half white and half red, sometimes mottled, dried beans make an attractive addition to soups and stews. Seed Guardian Jackie Newey thinks that they are “amazing!” and grows some every year.