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Phaseolus vulgaris

Purple Podded Pole Bean

Regular price $4.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $4.95 USD
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# of seeds per packet
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70 days. These pole bean vines are vigorous, producing a continuous supply of flat, dark purple, sweet, stringless, 5 - 7 inch long snap beans. This bean was discovered in the 1930's in the Ozark mountains. We love it so much that we've been growing it since 2002. Pole beans utilize vertical space in the garden and produce more beans than bush types. Purple pod color makes them easy to spot when harvesting. Eat young pods raw or prepare as you would any green bean—we like to stir fry them with garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. Or try them the traditional way, steamed and slathered with butter. Erica likes to pickle them the old fashioned way: just grab a handful of beans from the vine, stick 'em in a quart jar, fill the jar with salt brine, cover and presto! In just a few days you've got pickled beans (see Recipes for more info). Preserve by blanching and freezing. Easy seed saving plant. Seeds are beige in color. Variety is also known as “Purple Peacock”. HOJ

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Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

Pole bean vines are vigorous and need something to climb on (trellis, tepee, corn, fruit trees). Sow seeds outside 5/15-6/7 (after soil temp has reached at least 60 °). Sow seeds 1” deep, 3” apart. Protect seedlings from slugs/snails (use caffeinated coffee grounds or organic phosphate based slug bait). Days to germination: 6-16. Protect plants from groundhogs & deer. Plant pole beans on the north side of sun loving plants otherwise bean vines may shade them. Pole beans will keep producing beans until frost if kept picked. Beans perform best if the seeds are inoculated with Bean Inoculant at planting time.


Harvest young pods frequently while still thin and tender. Pods left to mature will become tough.


Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

Beans are an easy seed saving crop. They will not cross with other bean species and tend to self-pollinate. Isolation distance: 50 feet between bean varieties of the same species. Minimum population size: 10 plants. Allow seeds to mature on the vine (pods will become tan and dry). Save seeds only from the best plants. Clean seed as a dry-seeded crop.


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Seed Stories

Beans are in the legume plant family (Fabaceae) along with peas. This plant family is unique because legume plants improve soil fertility through the process of nitrogen-fixation, which adds nitrogen to the soil for all plants. Edible beans are divided into several species:  Fava Beans, Lima Beans, Mung Beans, Runner Beans, Soybeans and “Common Beans” (Phaseolus vulgaris). Purple Podded Pole bean (aka “Purple Peacock”) is a Common Bean type; this includes most edible-podded garden beans as well as dry beans including kidney, pinto, and navy bean. Common Beans originated in Central and South America, where they were domesticated by indigenous people. Native peoples grew, selected, and transported beans, along with corn and squash, to North America, where many indigenous varieties developed. Corn, Beans, and Squash are known as “The Three Sisters” and are central to Native American agriculture and to the dish succotash. In this planting, corn provides a “trellis” for climbing beans while bean plants provide nitrogen to the corn. Squash, sprawling on the ground, acts as weed control. Europeans brought bean seeds to Europe from the Americas. Nearly all commercial bean plants have a compact “bush” habit (short, no staking required) while older types are vining or “pole” (meaning that they climb and need something to climb on).

Purple Podded Pole beans are of this older, climbing type. It is an heirloom variety discovered by Henry Arms Fields (pioneering seedsmen of Shenandoa, Iowa) in an Ozark mountains, Arkansas garden in the 1930s. Beans of this type were grown in France in the 1700s, so it is believed that this variety was brought from Europe by European immigrants.

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Growing Instructions