|Large purple beans with black, white and gray spots. From the Sierra Madre Mountains of Chihuahua, Mexico. Annual member of the Legume family. Pods produce high protein nutritious seeds which can be dried into beans. Young beans are eaten fresh as 'snap' beans. Vines are fast growing and often have showy flowers.
Scarlet runner beans are native to Mexico, but are generally reluctant to set fruit if temperatures exceed 90 degrees Farenheit. Select a site for these beans early, at least 6 months in advance, and dig much well-rotted compost into the soil. Scarlet Runner Beans have deep roots, so make sure you dig the compost down a good ways. The site will also benefit from some shade. Soil temperature must be at least 50 Farenheit to germinate seeds, so don't sow until the end of spring. Plastic ground covers can help.
Water the plants liberally, especially when they come to flower. Staking is also necessary, as the vines are vigorous climbers, hence their name 'runner'. Each plant should produce about 2 pounds of beans, and these should be picked early, before the seeds swell appreciably in the pods. Picking the young pods will encourage the plants to set more.