Cherokee Trail of Tears Bean
- Pole bean
- Black seeds
- Green 6 inch pods with purple overlay
- Snap or dry bean
- 85 days
- ±1,600 seeds/lb
Also known as Cherokee Black, the variety is good as both a snap and a dry bean; when mature, the greenish-purple 6” pods encase shiny jet-black seeds. This bean was shared with Seed Savers Exchange by the late Dr. John Wyche of Hugo, Oklahoma. His Cherokee ancestors carried this bean over the Trail of Tears, the infamous winter death march from the Smoky Mountains to Oklahoma (1838-39) that left a trail of 4,000 graves. Pole habit, snap or dry, 85 days. ±1,600 seeds/lb.
Learn to Grow Cherokee Trail of Tears Bean
Direct Seed: 2" Apart
Seed Depth: 1"
Support: Trellis, tepee, or fencing
Light: Full Sun
Sow seeds outdoors after danger of frost has passed and soil and air temperatures have warmed. Harvest frequently to increase yield. Pods can be left on the vine to mature and then harvested as dry beans.
Ratings & Reviews
Large Yield, Easy to Grow
I grew these last season (Zone 4) and they were wonderful. Large yield of shiny black beans with good flavor. Easy to grow. Heavy vines that need a strong trellis (I learned that the hard way). I let them dry on the vine and harvested in early fall. I didn't try them as a snap bean but plan to this year!
Pretty pods but struggled to flourish
by Megan Michelle
I was excited to grow this bean because it was developed in Oklahoma...unfortunately it seemed unhappy most of the time and struggled to flourish here in Oklahoma City, zone 7a. We got two nights of unusually cold weather after the plants sprouted and they did not like that. Once the weather started warming up, the vines grew about 3 feet up the trellis and then they just stopped. It is very, very windy here and I suspect that might have been a factor. They produced a fair amount of flowers, but I found the beans too stringy for young harvest. I talked to a few people in my gardening group here and they said they prefer them as a dried bean, and some were saying they feel these beans do better with a bit of shade. I will probably try them again next spring in a different location, but pole beans 'should' be about the easiest thing to grow, so this won't be my first choice for that. I will say that the bean pods themselves are very pretty with the purple stripe down the side.
My tears were for delight.
by Debra Jeffrey
We loved this bean. First the vines grew about 9 feet. My husband is 5'10". We had never grown these before and wasn't sure what to expect.Tennessee 7a planted early May but had to watch for any frost.We ate them as green snap beans, so very delicious...a little stringy, but totally worth it.
They produced an amazing quantity. I put a lot in my freezer and had over flow to a friends freezer. The bean itself is tan but when dry they are a shiny black. We left 2 rows to dry on the vine. Saved some seed for replanting, shared some with friends. Cooked up the dry beans and they were the best bean I'd eaten in a long time.
Seeds were very hardy and a good eater!
Report from Aiken SC, sandy soil. Seeds were very hardy. Should also be grown, if only as a novelty, to remember "it has happened here" and guard against it ever happening again.
I grew these from seeds saved in 2012. I took them out of the freezer, thinking they had aged out, in 2018 and let them sit in the garage. This year, 2020, I decided to use them as a cover crop in a new bed and got about 75% germination. After sharing the with the deer and bugs,they did not get much attention, and replanting to replace the loss, I will end up with 3 rows about 15 feet long. Have shelled and eaten about a pint of beautiful deep purple to black mature un-dried beans and we love the flavor. Good texture with a hint of corn after taste. Color fades to grey / brown when cooked and take on the color of the Dixie Lee Butter Pea. The rest will go to seed so I can plant more next year. These will become a favorite along with the Dixie Lee and Pink Eye Purple Hull we love so much.
I grew these in zone 3b. They were slower to start and slower to flower than the scarlet runner beans, but they ended up doing very well. They are heavy producers. I'm letting them dry on the vine for soup beans. The vines have senesced faster than the scarlet runners, which I thought was interesting.
They are very pretty and have a wide variety of colours in the pods, from solid green to solid purple, green hazed with purple to green spotted with purple like a Dragontongue bean.
Wonderful flavor , super producer , zero problems. Planted in my 3 sisters garden in central Massachusetts. They outgrew their corn sisters !
Made me love green beans like never before
These wonderful plants gave me beans almost every day for 2-1/2 months! Then I stopped picking them and now they are drying out as beautiful maroon-colored pods. Will try some as dried beans but will definitely save some to plant next year. Highly recommend!!
Beautiful and Delicious
by Teresa. NJ
These plants were very prolific. The vines grew 10 ft and are very strong and heavy. The beans and flowers are so beautiful hanging on the vine. From 50 seeds I harvested 3 quarts of dry beans.They are delicious and cook up quick after an overnight soak.
My husbands family has always grown this bean. I didn't know the name of it the family just always called it Rufus beans. I did a little research and discovered that Cherokee-trail-of-tears bean is what we have. great producer here in Alabama 7b zone.