Climbing French Bean
- Staff Favorite
- Excellent for fresh eating
- Snap bean
- Lilac flowers
- Pole habit
- 65-75 days
- ± 800 seeds/lb
The beans of this historic variety are excellent for fresh eating—especially when picked young and tender—and its vines bear beautiful lilac flowers. Sweet and flavorful off the vine (kids love them!), the snappy, green 4-7" pods cradle shiny, dark-purple seeds when mature. Ever popular, it was once the most widely grown French climbing bean in England, according to The Beans of New York (1931). Pole habit, snap, 65-75 days. ± 800 seeds/lb.
Learn to Grow Climbing French 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 for increased yields.
Ratings & Reviews
definitely not stringless
I live on an island in Eastern Caribbean. I planted these beans in an Earthbox and unless you pick these beans when they are very very small these are the most stringy and fibrous beans that I have ever had. They have a fibrous tough string the length of the bean on both sides and even the pod becomes inedible and fibrous long before they get dry or overly large.
no beans as of August 6, 2020
by Nancy B
So far, no beans. Just lots of bean leaves growing. Not climbing. No flowers. Planted 10 seeds.
I only grew this once in 2019, but I was baffled by this bean. I don't know how soon you need to pick them, but the pods got very tough (inedible) and extremely stringy sort of like how a runner bean gets (Phaseolus coccineus). Were very slow to get going too.
Bean - Climbing French
I didn't plant until mid-May in Zone 6. Lots of vines, but they need help climbing. They just started producing beans in mid-August. Might have been a delayed start, but they look to more than make up for the delay.
Slow to start, needs help climbing, beautiful blooms, most stringy/fibrous bean I’ve ever grown.
NO BEAN PRODUCTION!!!
Planted first week in June ..... climbed great but as of September 1st, has not produced one bean!!! Started flowering the first or second week in August, but no fruit! SSE needs to remove this bean from their inventory! It deserves NO STARS!
Buy something else!
by BEC Smith
Awful. September and not even a handful of beans and no matter,tough,fibereous,stringy and no flavor from the 5-6 pods!
I could have used this space for something worth having in my small garden! One star is too much.
The plants grow and climb beautifully. It is difficult to know when to pick them. Even young beans can have tough and fibrous pods.
I will not be planting them again.
A meh bean
Same as others. Hasn’t produced a bean all summer and it’s like the plants heard I was going to pull them and began producing a few pods here and there. Nothing to be wowed by. Struggles to climb and becomes stressed if you attempt to train it.
Definitely not “stringless”
by Amy S.
Wonderful, hardy, prolific plant. Horrible, stringy beans. The only way we could eat them was to pick them when they were still quite small (3-4 inches). This meant frequent (daily) picking and not getting the benefit of the full size of h ther bean. Wondering if these were possibly the wrong seeds?
Excellent reliable bean
We have planted these beans from a 2019 package in both 2019 and 2020 on a 6 ft woven wire fence in a bed along with some lilies. They are marvelous beans which climb after the lilies are blooming and are ready for picking in mid September in our area (Zone 4). They are tender and buttery, much like a Blue Lake but flatter in shape and need only rich ground, adequate water and lots of sun. I highly recommend them.
Planted these in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons in the Western US (zone 5b) on 6' trellises. Slower to get going, but had prolific production both years. Excellent taste. Not sure how to explain the variation among reviews.
Too Fibrous for Human Consumption
I agree with others. These beans have strings, and the pods are too fibrous to eat. I harvested them once, but when we ate them we were chewing and chewing and eventually and spitting out mouthfuls of fiber. So I just left them to grow on their own and didn't bother to harvest any more. The plants grew nearly to the eaves of the house but suffered from many maladies: leaves turning various colors or being eaten, leaves covered with black insect eggs (aphids?); I removed some of the damaged leaves, but the strange thing is the plants never gave up. I thought they would die, but they kept growing, and months later, to my surprise, I discovered beans again. Still too fibrous for human consumption. :( NOTE: I planted 12 seeds on June 3 in So Cal. They're still producing beans on January 21!)
We love these green beans!
Delicious, high-producing, and hardy.
My absolute favorite bean.
by Julie N
I sm surprised at the bad reviews. I tried them last year and they were by far my favorite bean from the garden. They do climb fast and take a while to produce but once they fruited they were abundant and tasted great. I don't believe in stringless beans so I never minded snapping and stringing them. And being a southerner, I firmly believe in cooking beans for hours. Love them.
by Colorado Gardener
I like to try at least one new variety each year so I thought I would try this one. I grew this variety in one of my greenhouses and the plants grew to nearly 8 feet tall. They are a very heavy producer! However, the beans are not stringless, they are extremely tough and it does not matter what size you pick them at, they are still very tough and nearly inedible. I would not grow this variety again. If you are looking for a good producer with tender stringless beans, I would recommend these heirloom varieties: contender, provider, and top crop.
We love this bean
we are zone 4 - and that is being generous. I grew a variety of beans this past season - bush and pole. These pole beans out performed all of the varieties we had, and the best flavor. We took a cattle panel and bent it into an arch between two raised beds. These beans climbed to the top and over a bit. We eat fresh, freeze a bunch for winter, and quick can/ferment in our fridge. We will just do two varieties this year - one pole bean (french) and one bush bean.