Mary's Veggie Garden

July 31, 2012

Royal Burgundy Bush Beans

Filed under: Beans,Gardening,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 8:58 pm
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Royal Burgundy bush beans: a disappointing beauty

I  ripped out the Royal Burgundy bush bean plants this evening. They were not good enough to motivate me to harvest. What was the problem with these beautiful beans?

Flavor and texture: Raw these beans are inedible, kind of like chewing on cardboard.  I timed the cooking – Royal Burgundy required 7-8 minutes of boiling or braising to be tender enough to eat. Their flavor is mediocre – the mild bean flavor is almost undetectable, raw or cooked. The beans loose their  burgundy color during cooking, but they are not tender until 5 minutes after they turn green.

Royal Burgundy flowers.

Pollination:  The plants have been loaded with flowers for the last three weeks. Unfortunately the number of beans is smaller than the quantity of flowers would predict. I suspect a lot of flowers have simply dropped off, unpollinated. I’ve harvested a lot of beans that are only 2″ long,  with only one seed: a sign of poor pollination. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise considering the flavor.

Royal Burgundy beans ready for harvest.

Growth habits: the plants are lanky and floppy. They run about 2′ tall, but they are true bush plants, not half-runners and they will not climb. The plants also seem very brittle; it’s easy to break off leaves while searching for beans. With their floppy habits, I found them difficult to pick.

Anything good about Royal Burgundy? The beans do not need stringing, even when mature. The plants are a beautiful dark green with burgundy stems and beans.

You may think I’m too critical. I judge beans by how they compare to my Rattlesnake pole beans. Rattlesnake is tender and flavor-full fresh from the garden. I frequently eat the baby beans raw, one second after harvest. Cooking Rattlesnake beans takes only 2-3 minutes; they are done as soon as their purple makings disappear.



  1. Well at least you know what you are not going to plant next season.

    Comment by Norma Chang — August 6, 2012 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

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