SOLVED: Cousin Oliver's Beans?

Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

I got these beans in a RR two years ago and have several questions. Perhaps someone can help? Fool that I am, I didn't write down any of the information included in the package, don't know what they are or who included them. I have pictured them with 2 Vermont Cranberry beans as well as a dime to give some idea of the size. As you can see they are a very small bean.

-The package was marked "Cousin Oliver's Beans". I can't find any information on the net about them, are they known by another name?

-Are they bush or pole beans?

-Are they used as a snap bean or dry bean?

-Could they possibly be a cowpea?

Thanks for any help!


Thumbnail by Big_Red
Franklin, LA(Zone 9b)

i know this is probably not right, and i have absolutely nothing to back this up or anything, and i'm sure if it were these, you'd know it for sure and someone else would ahve posted by now, but......
they look like pinto beans to me


San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

They look like pinto bean seeds to me too. Lord knows I have cooked a lot of them.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Cheri' that is a great site.

Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

Thanks for your input gang, but they are definitely not pinto beans, they are only about half the size of a pinto. That's why I pictured them with a dime, to show the approximate size. These are very, very small beans. I'll just have to keep looking, maybe I've got something special here! I'm going to grow them out this year and see what I've got.

Thanks again and yes, that's a very nice site Cheri!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I am still looking for your beans ...

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I am still looking for your beans ...I never knew there were so many different types of beans. That's why I like trying to help others ID their plants (beans) I always learn so much.

Here's a great site ...

Chariton, IA(Zone 5b)

Here is a site that might have it pictured.

Will keep looking. There are newer varieties of Pinto beans that are smaller than the usual too. I didn't know this until looking for what your seed might be.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I am trying to find a description of the pinquito bean that are grown in Santa Maria, California hoping to determine if these are the ones. Oops ... these are pink beans.

This message was edited Jan 5, 2004 8:32 PM

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Rattlesnake beans (pole type bean)? hybrid of the pinto bean, but has squared off (blunt) ends and is a darker brown than pinto beans; good in chili and a good baked bean; haven't found their size mentioned ...

Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

Brugie, htop;

I believe these may in fact BE a rattlesnake bean. I found them described on a site ( that says, a small bean about 3/8" that looks like a pinto bean. In comparing them with the pics on I believe that's what I have. htop, if you look closely at my pic, some of the seed do have a slightly "blunt end".

Guess when I plant them I'll set some poles. Boy will I be embarrassed if I set 8' poles and end up with 18" bush beans!

Anyway, thanks to everyone for your help.


Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

Hmmm, "a pinto bean hybrid", are rattlesnake beans open polinated and will they grow back true?

Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

Yup, I'm convinced that rattlesnake beans are what I have.

htop, Victory Seeds pictures them and describes them as about 95 seeds per ounce, which is a VERY small bean. Also described as an open polinated heirloom.

Thanks again for your help!

This message was edited Jan 6, 2004 12:09 AM

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Big_Red, I hope these are your beans ... they sound great!

Here are some facts that I found out about these pole beans:
They grow to 10 feet tall with 7 inch pods which mature in 65 and 85 days after sprouting. If picked early when pods are still young (how do you tell?) you can eat them as snap beans. The pods are sweet, rich and full flavored, as well as stringless when the pods are small to medium sized. As a dried bean, the seedsí (beansí) flavor is richer and more intense than the pinto and their smooth texture make them an ideal candidate for a puree. A recommendation is to cook them with bacon or salt pork before mashing them and adding Dijon-style mustard and Worcestershire sauce. They can be used as a pinto bean substitute in any recipe and are a good baked bean.

Advantages: Do well in dry weather with some sites stating that they performed well with only rain provided water (no supplemental water at all which I find hard to believe)
Good for the South
Especially good for planting in sandy soil
Heavy producer especially in the hot, humid areas of the coastal Mid-Atlantic and Southern coastal areas
Some sites had people state that they would never again plant any other variety of pole bean because the rattlesnake bean outperformed all the others they had grown

(Zone 7a)

Hi Big_Red,i grow the rattlesnakes.If you would like me to send you a few to compare to yours i will do so.Send me your addy and i'll get them in the mail to you.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Just to keep the conversations straight:

(I was going to post Big_Red's question on the Legumes forum, since it would get better exposure to some bean growers. But when I went to that forum, I discovered it was already there :) Good luck with the ID!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

So ... we need to switch to the Legumes forum. Thanks, Terry.

Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

Bitty, you've got mail!

Terry, I posted to both forums hoping to get more exposure and it works! The people on DG are the greatest!

This message was edited Jan 6, 2004 7:54 PM

Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

I received an email today from Ms. Parker who originally provided these beans in Brook's round robin. Please click on the link that Terry has provided to read the info.

Thanks again for all your help!


Bethelridge, KY(Zone 6a)

Bitty, I received your Rattlesnakes beans in today's mail. They seem to have the same markings as Cousin Olivers, the same white 'eye' but are about 1/3 larger than what I have. Perhaps a different strain?

Guess I'll have to grow them out in order to compare them. I'll keep you posted.

Did you get my package yet? It went out last Wednesday.

Thanks for the trade!


(Zone 7a)

Hi Big_Red,i got the seeds yesterday.Thank You!The Rattlesnake is an Heirloom variety.They are also called Preacher Bean.You can see the listing at Heirloom seeds at this link.Look under the Bean/pole bean section.

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