Content Detail

Scarlet runner bean is an annual ornamental vine that is grown for its bright red to red-orange flowers. It also produces edible beans.

  • Family (English) Pea
  • Family (botanic) Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae)
  • Tree or plant type Vine
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Season of interest early fall, late summer, midsummer
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink, Red
  • Shape or form Vining
  • Growth rate Fast

Size and Method of Climbing: 

Scarlet runner bean can grow up to 15 feet high.  It is a twining vine. Twining vines climb by twisting their stems or leaf stalks around a support. This type of vine grows well on trellises, arbors, wires or chain-link fences.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to tropical America.

Leaf description: 

Leaves are similar to those found on other bean plants:  opposite leaves, each with three leaflets.

Flower description: 

Flowers typical of beans and peas, but bright red to red-orange in color.

Fruit description: 

The fruit is a legume (pod) filled with black, speckled, edible beans.

Plant care:

Provide full sun and a moist, well-drained soil.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

The same insects and diseases that afflict beans grown in the vegetable garden can affect this plant.  This includes viral disease, bacterial blight anthracnose, Mexican bean beetles and Japanese beetles.

Golden Sunshine  (Phaseolus coccineus ‘Golden Sunshine’): 

Red flowers and chartreuse leaves.

Painted Lady (Phaseolus coccineus ‘Painted Lady’):

Bicolor flower (red and white).

Streamline (Phaseolus coccineus ‘Streamline’):

Produces abundance of flowers and fruits; the pods can be up to 18 inches long.

Sunset (Phaseolus coccineus ‘Sunset’):

Peach or pink-colored flowers.


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