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.)
Our donor passed this variety, thought to date back to around 1890, to HSL after acquiring the beans from a friend's Hungarian husband. His family used them dried throughout winter, but when young the pods are delicious, sweet and stringless. An early variety with pretty pink and white flowers, followed by yellow pods. Guardian David Howells found that they seemed less susceptible to aphid attack than other French beans he grows. 10 seeds.
Syn. Gourmet Delight. A vigorous variety donated by John Yeoman of The Village Guild. Produces a heavy crop of glossy green, round, stringless pods 15-20cm in length and thought to show resistance to bean rust. Can also be used as a drying bean. Sow to harvest 55-60 days (approx.)
Gardening writer Andi Clevely was sent these beans by a reader in response to an article he had written for The Garden in May 2001. The reader had, in turn, been given them by his father during the 1960s. Originally brought to the UK by Sicilian gardener, Giovanni Dolce, the beans were named 'John's Beans' after him. They produce white flowers followed by prolific clusters of stringless pods. The pods are delicious when young, and the dried beans have a lovely nutty flavour.
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.
Our donor bought these beans from a market in Madeira in December 1995 and has been growing and saving seed ever since. He says of them “They proved to be similar to runner beans in vigour and produce very large and tasty beans, much larger than the normal haricot type.” Tender and tasty as young pods, and perfect as a dried bean.
Donated by Syd Melbourne who was given seeds in the 1970s by a fellow vegetable gardener at Hurst Horticultural Society Show, Bexley, Kent. It is a tall, easy to grow variety which produces very pale yellow flowers followed by a heavy crop of round, green pods. So tender, the young pods can be eaten raw or cooked.
Syn. Dutch Half Runner. This white seeded variety originates with the settlers of the Dutch Fork Section of South Carolina, USA. Growing to around 1.2m in height it produces white flowers and short, straight, pale green pods over a long season. When eaten young the pods are stringless and tasty, although the beans are equally delicious dried.