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Purple Kingsessing Bean

Phaseolus vulgaris

Grown by: Truelove Seeds Farm in Glen Mills, PA

  • $6.00

Also known as Lenape Blue Bread Beans, these dry beans have a delicious meaty flavor and are used for stews and baking into bread. Six foot vines yield an abundance of purple pods filled with dark purple seeds, with a fair amount of tannish brown off-types. If saving seed for replanting, consider sowing only the purple seeds.

William Woys Weaver was entrusted with these beans when the seed keeper who cared for them in Oklahoma passed away. Many Lenape people now reside in Northern Oklahoma because the U.S. government forced them there in the 1860s. The seed has been brought back to its original land. Kingsessing is derived from the Lenape word "Chingsessing," meaning “a place where there is a meadow.” Originally, this was the name for the land between the Schuylkill River and Cobbs Creek, in what is now West and Southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These seeds were grown once again in Kingsessing for Truelove Seeds by staff at the historic Bartram's Garden. If you are Lenape, please reach out so we can rematriate these seeds to you free of charge.

Days to maturity: 70-95

Seeds per pack: 40

Germination rate: 92% on 12/08/2023

Planting / harvesting notes

Plant in warm soil at least a couple weeks after the last danger of frost has passed. Sow directly in the ground at a depth of one inch, spaced every few inches in rows 12 inches apart. Thin to one plant every four to six inches. Provide a sturdy trellis as the vines can grow six to eight feet tall.

Seed keeping notes

Beans are self-pollinating, though it is best to isolate different varieties of P. vulgaris by at least 25 feet (we do 75 feet to be sure) to avoid unwanted cross-pollination from flying insects. For seed saving, harvest the beans when their shells have become dried and crispy on the plants. Lay out the pods in a dry, sunny place to dry down further. Shell the beans and lay out the seeds in a well ventilated place away from direct sunlight for at least another few days to a week before storing for next year.



This product is part of the Roughwood Seed Collection.

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