This bean originated, as its name suggests, in Canada. It was served to a visiting family who were so impressed by its tenderness and flavour that they asked about its origins and were taken to see an old man who gave them some of the beans. Our donor describes them as having “a mild runner bean flavour but completely stringless and with a positively creamy texture”. It is a late variety producing attractive white flowers tinged with pale lilac, followed by flat, green pods on vigorous (2-3m) vines. The beans themselves are beautiful, light buff with olive green swirls.
This very old haricot variety dates back to at least 1820. It is a strong climber and a high yielding variety producing white flowers followed by stringless, flat, pale green pods, shaped like a little knife blade. These pods are tender and tasty when steamed, and delicious shelled and eaten raw in salads. Also makes a great drying bean.
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 9ft tall. One of our Guardians in northern England found that this was particularly suited to her conditions. When young they have a delicious beany flavour and their intriguing appearance when dried make attractive soups, stews and casseroles.
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.
When this variety was grown at Ryton we found that it produced very healthy plants, growing to 2-2.5m tall. The flowers are pale pink to lilac followed by long, green, flat pods which are stringless and tasty when picked young. Its performance was not impaired by the hot, dry summer of 2018. Guardian Alison Charlesworth found that the dried beans store well and have a lovely flavour.
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!”
This variety has been grown on the Island of Gotland, Sweden (Gauk is a farm) since the 19th century. Pale pink and white flowers are followed by large green and carmine striped pods. Said to be adapted to harsh weather conditions; certainly proven by one HSL member who grows in the windy conditions of coastal Cumbria; and early to flower and pod.
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.
Donated as part of a collection given to HSL in the early 1980s by American, Russell Crow. This 19th century American heirloom produces compact (40-50cm) plants but BIG beans. An early producer of long, stringless green pods with dark seeds. The young pods have a delicate flavour, but the dried beans are second to none. Sow to harvest 107 days (approx.)
Named after the Hopi people, a Native American tribe of north-east Arizona who used the black beans both for food and as a dye. The compact (35-50cm) but prolific plants produce dark lilac flowers followed by a generous crop of flat, greenish-yellow pods. These can be eaten fresh when young, or allowed to mature when the dried beans are great in chillis or as refried beans. Also thought to show some drought resistance. Sow to harvest 90 days (approx.)