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Scarlet Runner Beans, Beautiful vine that attracts Hummingbirds

The Scarlet Runner bean originated in Central America. It was grown as an ornamental vine in sixteenth-century Europe. They were later introduced to the United States in the early 1800’s but were not used for culinary purposes until later in that century.

The Scarlet Runner bean is a vining plant and vegetable that  I have to have in my gardens. I mix them in all my various gardens for color and fun.

The bean is also delicious. It has a crispy taste and is wonderful stir fried. I also use it fresh in salads. This bean is considered a gourmet vegetable by many and it is one of my favorites.

This vine is easy to grow. You plant it like any other bean, about 1/2 inch deep in the soil. I usually plant about three beans in a small mound and make sure I have a trellis or some sort of support for the vine to grow up. I have also planted them near the base of the taller varieties of sunflowers  and let them vine up the sunflower plants.

The vine has lush green foliage and amazing scarlet colored flowers. These flower are very delicate looking and glow when the sun hits them. If you keep the beans picked off the vines will flower continuously all season.

One other reason I like the plant as much as I do is that it attracts humming birds and its fun to watch thses delicate little birds in your yard.

Hummingbird trivia:

  • A Hummingbird will feed on more than 1,500 flowers during one day
  • Hummingbirds are attracted to red flowers
  • A Humming bird is the only bird that can fly backwards.
  • The average hummingbird weighs less than a penny

If you haven’t grown the scarlet runner bean I would give it a try in your garden this year.

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Denise

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