Runner Bean 'Painted Lady'

Phaseolus coccineus

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phaseolus (FAZ-ee-oh-lus) (Info)
Species: coccineus (kok-SIN-ee-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Painted Lady
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Tropicals and Tender Perennials


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Seed Type:

Open Pollinated

Growth Habit:


Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Days to Maturity:

51 to 60 days

61 to 70 days

71 to 80 days

81 to 90 days

91 to 100 days

101 to 110 days

111 to 120 days

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


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

Berkeley, California

San Jose, California

Barbourville, Kentucky

Ewing, Kentucky

Denham Springs, Louisiana

East Vassalboro, Maine

Lincoln, Nebraska

West Kill, New York

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Clarksville, Tennessee

Elgin, Texas

Freeport, Texas

Plano, Texas

Pearisburg, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 14, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is a beautiful twining ornamental and a tasty productive vegetable. The bicolored blooms are reddish orange and white, and they attract hummingbirds. If you keep the pods well picked, it will continue to bloom for months. (Flowering stops if pods are allowed to mature on the vine.) Blooming may pause in heat of summer if temperatures are often over 90F, then continue when it cools.

Consistent moisture is needed for good bean production. In drought, these must not be allowed to dry out.

I enjoy the pods steamed or boiled, with a little butter. All parts of the plant is edible, including the roots.

All beans contain lectins, which can cause GI distress. Runner beans are no more toxic than any other bean. Cooking destroys the lectins.
<... read more


On Mar 17, 2011, sunnyg from San Francisco Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I originally started this bean from seed several years ago. I had no idea that it would form a tuber and return year after year (here in zone 9b). The vine does die completely back, but it resprouts from the tuber each Spring.


On Oct 20, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

I have grown this bean for years on tripods in whiskey barrels. It is by far the most vigorous runner bean I have grown, and very decorative. It is very attractive to hummingbirds and grows extremely tall for me--some years over 15 feet. It does well in my short-season garden in the mountains, maturing very quickly. My only complaint about it is that it does not cling as tightly to the supports as some other varieties and sometimes slips down the poles. This problem can be avoided by using slender branches rather that fatter poles as supports.


On Oct 19, 2004, GardenShannon from Seattle, WA wrote:

We love this plant because we have to use somewhat unattractive fences to keep our big dogs out of the garden. Each spring I plant the beans and by mid-summer they cover the fences with greenery and beautiful flowers that hummingbirds visit. I collect more beans than I need in the Fall for next year's planting and make bean dishes from the dried beans. I didn't realize until looking them up on the internet that some people eat them green. They grow well in full, hot sunny areas in the Seattle area


On Oct 5, 2004, seedpicker_TX from (Taylor) Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a very decorative, well-behaved vine. My only disappointment with it, was not it's fault! lol...I was told it was pink and white, and it turned out to be peach and red. I do not like all.
At any rate, is it worth growing for those of you who DO like red.
This variety was better at producing pods, than a nearby 'Sunset' runner bean...


On Jan 13, 2003, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is the only runner bean with a bi-color blooms. Blooms are red and white. It does need support for climbing. Runner beans cross pollinate with other runner beans so need to be planted far apart.


On Jul 12, 2002, Baa wrote:

A highly ornamental, heritage variety with bicolour flowers and cream coloured beans, streaked with deep brown markings (may also have been known as York and Lancaster). The full history of Painted Lady is unclear and it may have been grown as early as the mid 1600's in England but it was certainly a popular variety in England by the 1850s.

It's now relegated to being grown as a pretty screen by many vegetable growers because there are better performing varieties on the market. Even so it still produces a good crop of well flavoured beans and is much less vigourous than modern varieties making it a great variety for the smaller garden. It produces more than enough beans for us!

Pick the bean pods regularly to ensure a continuous crop throughout the late summer... read more