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Annual Biennial

Phaseolus coccineus 'Scarlet Emperor'
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

bean (runner) 'Scarlet Emperor'

A vigorous, twining climber grown as an annual, with bright green, heart-shaped leaves and orange-red flowers from early summer These are followed, from mid-summer, by straight, smooth, green pods up to 30cm long, eaten as runner beans while still immature

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1 year
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Red Green Green
Autumn Red Green Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H2
Botanical details
Family
Fabaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Climbing
Potentially harmful
Raw pods/beans harmful if eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling. Pets (dogs): Raw pods/beans harmful if eaten - see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants for further information and useful contact numbers
Genus

Phaseolus are annual or perennial legumes, usually climbing or trailing in form, and with trifoliate leaves. Grown as crop plants for their edible seeds, including runner, French and lima beans, as well as for animal feed, green manures and as ornamentals

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Start from seed in a heated greenhouse or warm windowsill, and plant outside once all risk of frost has passed in a sunny, sheltered site. Incorporate bulky organic material into the soil before planting, and keep the soil moist when plants are flowering to ensure the beans set. Plants need substantial supports. See runner-bean cultivation for further advice

Propagation

Propagate by seed. See sowing vegetable seeds

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Climber and wall shrubs
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Remove shoot tips once they reach the top of the support

Pests

May be susceptible to black bean aphids. Young plants also need protection from slugs and snails

Diseases

May be susceptible to foot rot

Get involved

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