Homestead Medley Multi-flora Bean
(Phaseolus coccineus); aka Runner bean (not to be confused with a bean of a runner growth habit**); Pole bean; Minimum 20 seeds
Multi-flora varieties are a foodie's delight with their plump beans fantastically flavorful when fresh that also add a hearty dose of satisfaction and nutrition to comfort food later as dry beans. (Tuberous roots are reportedly edible as well though we have not yet eaten them this way.) The challenge of this fabulous Fabaceae (P. coccineus) is that it is a bit more "promiscuous" with its pollen meaning its plants require a greater isolation distance to maintain true-to-type seeds. With all the captivating Runner varieties available, each with their own alluring seed coat patterns and flower colors, I am heavily restricted by growing space which limits what I can grow each season and I don't like that! So I made the decision to grow varieties mixed as my Homestead Medley.
In addition to a more diverse harvest of beans, this choice affords a greater profusion of blossom colors wonderfully enticing to our hummers over a much wider maturity window. While I appreciate the history of each parental line and recognize the importance of maintaining specific varietal lineage, on our homestead and for this species with its much greater isolation requirements, I am comfortable with my decision. If you are a purist, this might not be for you. If you are someone excited with an opportunity to select what does well in your gardens, then this medley is well-suited to that aim.
Parental lines include: Chocolate, Hungarian Mixed, Moldovanesti Buffalo, and Sadie's Horse
**The label "Runner Bean" in beans is a bit confusing as it refers both to a growth habit in common beans but also to a distinct species (P. coccineus.) The easiest way to distinguish between the two cases is to observe the emerging shoot. True Runner Beans of P. coccineus are hypogeal in germination - their cotyledon leaves remain underground and the shoot appears more like a pea shoot without leaves. For common beans that are runner in their growth habit, their emerging shoot has two chubby (cotyledon) leaves (germination is epigeal.)