Climbing Bean 'Purple King'
Scientific Name: Phaseolus vulgaris
AKA: Climbing Bean 'Puple King', Purple Climbing Bean, Purple Pole Bean, Magic Bean
Family: Fabaceae (Pea)
Phaseolus: Small Boat; Latin
Phaseolus vulgaris is a species originally from and first domesticated in the Andes of South America.
Climbing Bean 'Purple King' has attractive flat purple pods up to 16cm in length. This variety also has rather attractive purple-pink flowers. Grows to about 175cm tall. Produces over a longer period of time than bush beans.
The pods can be eaten raw in moderation when young or steamed. Unfortunately the beans lose their vibrant purple colour and turn a deep green when cooked, which is why this variety is sometimes known as Magic Bean.
Sow seed 2.5 cm deep, spaced 15cm apart. You can sow the seed as they are or pre-soak them overnight in warm water (not boiling) with a pinch of Epsom salts mixed in to aid germination. Water in well after sowing then avoid watering for several days to prevent the seed from rotting. 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. In the tropics, sow during the dry season from April to July.
Takes 10 to 11 weeks from sowing the seed to harvest. Prefers to be grown in well drained soil in a full sun position. Keep well watered during dry periods. Easy to grow. Requires strong trellising.
Climbing Bean 'Purple King' flowers, purple podded beans generally have attractive purple flowers.
The young pods start off green and turn purple as they grow larger, this provides a good indicator of when to pick the beans as they don't tend to grow much larger once they have turned fully purple.
Pods are ready to eat when long and fully purple and are delicious raw straight off the plant.