Friday, 11 October 2013

Climbing bean "Veitch's"

This year I have grown a variety of bean that I had never encountered before. It is a climbing French Bean called "Veitch's".

I don't know much about this bean, and in researching it on the internet I see that there are several different types of beans with this name, so which one this is I don't really know. I was given the seed by a reader of my blog, without any indication of its origin.

The first issue I had was that it was hard to get any of them started. Maybe the seed was old, or maybe the weather conditions were wrong? I eventually got two plants:

These two plants grew to be quite big and developed some very luxuriant foliage - many more leaves than their cousins "Cobra" - but it took a very long time for them to produce flowers, and then pods.

Now, I wasn't really sure whether to eat the pods young, like I would with a normal climbing French Bean, or to let them mature for drying. Since at the time when a decision was required I had huge quantities of Runner Beans I opted to keep the Veitch's for shelling beans.

Well, the plants have a fair few pods on them, and they are looking quite plump, so a couple of days ago I picked one to see how the beans inside looked.

The pod was about 18cm long, with a very pronounced "nose". Inside I found six large pink beans:

The pod was of course not dry, so the beans are still immature. Presumably in the drying process they will darken in colour. This is what they look like now:

But the seeds I have left over from the batch I sowed are a deep chocolatey brown like this:

Since our weather is still fairly mild for this time of year, I am going to leave the pods on the plants for a bit longer - maybe 10 days or a fortnight - then I will pick them and dry them indoors.


  1. I bet they will darken if they are left on the vine long enough. Sometimes I pick my dried beans too early and then they are very very light. Sometimes they darken as they dry out, but not to the extent of a fully ripe bean. I love the dark chocolate color. I wonder what they taste like.

  2. Fun to try new varieties!
    Happy Week-end!

  3. Did you try any of them fresh? Nice looking especially the original. Great color

  4. So they haven't taken your heart away from Cobra?

  5. I've never grown beans to shell, there's some great looking ones though. I like the red and white speckled ones.

  6. I never let my garden without climbing beans. We usually cook their young pods, also their young leaves. So tasty... The young pods usually eaten raw. The taste is so sweet and crispy. That's be our favorite vegetables. The young leaves are preserved in a soup.
    I plant it a long the year, on my bed or containers. Easy growing... So lovely.


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