Bush Bean 'Tongue Of Fire'
Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco (Italian)
Tongue of Fire bean is a heirloom cultivar which originates from the Tierra Del Fuego archipelago at the southern most tip of South America. It has become a popular variety in Italy.
Tongue of Fire is a dwarf bush bean that produces stringless, flattened pods up to about 15cm long. Both the pods and dried beans are pale green in colour with attractive, vibrant red streaking. The pods can be picked young and eaten as a green bean or allowed to mature and cooked as a shelled bean. Tongue of Fire beans have a mild, sweet, nutty flavour and a good, creamy texture.
As bush beans often produce all at once, if you’re growing these to use as fresh green beans you should plant a few seeds every week during the growing season so you have a longer harvesting period and aren't burden with a glut of bean pods all at once.
Bush beans may topple over in strong winds, you can support them by running two pieces of string along the length of the row on either side, tying them securely onto stakes at the ends of the row.
In cold areas sow from October to December. In temperate areas sow from September or as soon as any change of frost has past to February. In the subtropics sow from August to April. If you live in the tropics sow from April to July to avoid growing your beans during the wet season when due to the high humidity they can be susceptible to fungal diseases.
Tongue of Fire Bean seeds should be sown 2.5cm deep, spacing plants about 8cm apart and leaving about 60cm between each row (allow more space to walk if required).
Beans prefer to be planted into a well-drained soil, rich in organic matter, in full sun, although they will still form pods when planted in partial shade.
Tongue of Fire Bean seeds will take between 6-14 days to germinate, depending on conditions.
Expect a harvest 10-11 weeks after planting.
Soaking bean seeds overnight prior to planting can help improve germination rates, although beans are easy to germinate and grow so this step is rarely necessary.
Mottled pattern of the Tongue of Fire Bean pod. The pods of beans that have been left this long will be tough and fibrous and are best left to dry and be harvested as shelled beans.