Haricot Rouge de Syrie (Syrian Red Bush Bean)
These wine-red beans with beautiful purple-black marbling won Bear Bottom Farm the blue ribbon at the Albermarle County Fair in Charlottesville, Virginia.
This productive 19th century bush bean has a complicated history. William Woys Weaver says it is a cat with 12 (or more) lives. He originally got the seed from Seed Savers Exchange member John Staples of Newfane, NY. Dr. Weaver has identified this variety as a member of a group of bush beans categorized by Georg Matthias von Martens as "speckled wine beans", which originated in Brazil and were further selected in France. This variety was introduced to Syria in the 19th century, and donated to the USDA by the Near East Foundation from the city of Homs in 1949.
Seeds per pack: 40
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 six inches.
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.