A Mexican native that was popularized by the great eighteenth-century English garden writer, Philip Miller, the Scarlet-runner is still very popular in Europe for the edible bean. Jefferson planted this lovely vine with its showy scarlet flowers in 1812, noting: "Arbor beans white, crimson, scarlet, purple...on long walk of garden." In 1806 the Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon wrote that it was grown in America exclusively as an ornamental.
Whether for beauty or utility, sow the large, mottled seeds in a sunny part of your garden after the last frost. Seeds should be planted about one inch deep in well-prepared soil. The Scarlet-runner will climb up to twenty feet, and requires a trellis, arbor, fence, or bean poles to support its vining habit. Beans may be harvested and eaten when young and tender.
Approximately 12 seeds per pack.
Line Drawing by Lucia Stanton.