Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Wax Bean
Phaseolus vulgaris 'Brittle Wax'

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phaseolus (FAZ-ee-oh-lus) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)
Cultivar: Brittle Wax

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12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Seed Type:
Open Pollinated

Growth Habit:

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Days to Maturity:
41 to 50 days

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Suze_ On Nov 10, 2007, Suze_ from (Zone 7b) wrote:

Good flavor, stringless. I've found them to taste the best when picked at 3 to 4 inches in length.

Neutral manitobashrimp On Jun 14, 2003, manitobashrimp wrote:

This plant is also called the "Round Pod Kidney Wax". It is ideal for freezing. If soil disease has caused spotty germination in the past , try dusting the seed with a safe fungicide. Plant when the soil is warm and danger of frost is past.

Neutral Baa On Jan 18, 2003, Baa wrote:

A heritage variety of french bean that has been known since at least 1900.

Has pale yellow, stringless, round pods that can reach 7 inches long. The seeds are white with a black eye. An advantage to having a coloured pod bean is that you can see them easily to harvest.

Dislikes heavy clay and cold weather so plant in well drained soil, in sun and a sheltered area. Sow in May or after the last frost date if your area has frosts after this time. Early crops must be sown under cover in most temperate regions.

Water at soil level, they will need a lot of water if the weather turns dry but you don't need to spray the flowers to help them to set. Slugs and snails are a perennial problem and need to be kept at bay, especially when the plants are young.

They are ready to harvest as soon as the pod breaks when you bend them. Don't wait for the seeds to bulge in the pods


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Miami, Florida
Elgin, Texas

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