Supreme Scarlet Emperor Beans

| October 5, 2015 | 2 Replies

Supreme Scarlet Emperor Beans – My story with these lavender and deep purple, graphically complex beans began last year when a garden friend sent me a packet. This friend happens to have five acres in the San Juan Islands to grow a garden as he pleases (where I have to cram everything into about 300 square feet!), so I shared half my gifted seeds with a garden friend.

Supreme Scarlet Emperor Beans - harvest

Total harvest from the small teepee trellis

And, that’s not all he sent: King Stropharia spawn, bare roots of comfrey, Desert fig and more, plus, Jerusalem Artichokes, and salsify and amaranth seeds. (See photos here.) Seeds are a gift that keep on giving. Guess what? Scarlet Emperor are so-named because of the blooms, not the beans! I’ve only grown beans with white or pale pink flowers, so these scarlet blooms are show-stoppers!

Supreme Scarlet Emperor Beans - blooms

Scarlet blooms of the Scarlet Emperor

As often happens in the Late Bloomer garden, my beans fell victim to powdery mildew, more on this in my end-of-season bean episode. (Look for that in the coming weeks.) But, was it worth the effort? Absolutely! And when the scarlet blooms started appearing on my one short row, I quickly ordered more seeds, and planted them around a hastily improvised teepee trellis.

Supreme Scarlet Emperor Beans - 15 pods

Pods harvested from the teepee trellis

Though I only harvested about 15 dried pods from the teepee trellis (about three pods per vine), it’s still been a learning experience. There are between three and six beans situated in roomy velvety pods, five being the most popular number.

Supreme Scarlet Emperor Beans - pod

5 to 6 Beans in a Pod is typical

Seed size varied widely, which I’m assuming has something to do with irregular watering and how close the roots were to a hole in the irrigation drip line! Out of the 90+ seeds, I selected 15 for replanting next year.

Supreme Scarlet Runner Beans - seed size

Size varies widely from seed to seed

YES, I will give it another try, and this time I will harvest the beans fresh from the pods, so they don’t linger long months on the trellis to attract mildew spores. And I haven’t shelled the pods from the nylon trellis.

Supreme Scarlet Emperor Beans -  pods in basket

Scarlet Emperor Bean harvest from the nylon trellis

Altogether, I think I’ll be able to make one pot of chili. I was told they make the best chili beans! And, if you are in a warm climate like mine you can plant in March for an early June harvest and August for a late September harvest. Some folks grow these supreme Scarlet Emperor Beans just for a screen of pretty red-orange flowers. Get a start on spring beans and order yours now!

Supreme Scarlet Emperor Beans - seed packet

Click to Order Scarlet Emperor Bean Seed

I’m always looking for dried matter for my kitchen composter, so these dried pods are perfect! They break down faster if cut into one inch pieces.

Supreme Scarlet Emperor Beans - pods for compost

Cut up dried pod pieces for compost

Let me know what you would like to see on Late Bloomer episodes in Season 5, more of what’s growing in my front yard, or more interviews with other people, or both? Thanks for your support! – Kaye

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Category: Seeds, Vegetables, Warm Season

Comments (2)

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  1. I have neen very attracted to growing beans on trellis and teepees lately because its so easy . This year I grew the Creams, Kentucky Wonders, Cherokee Trail of tears , Worchester Indian red pole limas and my favorite the huge DR Martins limas . I offer seeds of these for sale and other heritage beans and as I grow fresh crops , I eat the old beans. I sure am enjoying it and you can easily grow your own supply without too much labor or space .
    I think you may like to try Purple Hyacyth bean Kaye. The plant is a real show stopper in the color of the blossums and pods. It would look great on an arched arbor . I think they were grown in the past more as a livestock feed but they sure are vigorous and resistant to diseases as well as beautiful .
    I am up to my elbows picking up black walnuts here! Enjoy the fall.

    • Wow, that sounds like a winner, Sharon! Can I order that Purple Hyacyth from your Local Harvest page? And I need to create some arbors for next year. Enjoy the walnuts! Wish I could help.

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