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Plant Information

Scientific Name: Phaseolus coccineus

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  • Perennial
  • Scarlet runner bean is a tender herbaceous plant native to the mountains of Mexico and Central America, growing at higher elevations than the common runner bean.
  • By the 1600’s it was growing in English and early American gardens as a food plant but now is more frequently grown as an ornamental for its showy sprays of flowers.
  • Unlike regular green runner beans (P. vulgaris) this is a perennial species, although it is usually treated as an annual.
  • It is a twining vine bearing striking scarlet flowers that attracts hummingbirds.
  • Removing spent flowers will promote more flowers.

Culinary Uses

  • The intense red flowers are edible, with a mild, sweet, somewhat “beany” flavor.
  • They are excellent to use in salads and as garnishes.
  • The young beans are also edible.
  • Immature pods can be harvested before they become fibrous, and then steamed and eaten as you would any green bean.
  • The pods have a rougher surface texture than we're accustomed to.

Parts Used

  • The flowers and runner beans.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff
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