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Scarlet Runner Bean, Scarlet Conqueror, Fire Bean, Mammoth, Red Giant

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)
» View all varieties of Beans




4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Seed Type:

Open Pollinated

Growth Habit:


Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Days to Maturity:

61 to 70 days

Bloom Color:


Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


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

, (2 reports)

Anchorage, Alaska

Chugiak, Alaska

Phoenix, Arizona

Clovis, California

La Jolla, California

Larkfield-wikiup, California

Los Angeles, California (2 reports)

Santa Barbara, California

Sunnyvale, California

Parker, Colorado

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Wahiawa, Hawaii

Cary, Illinois

Thomasboro, Illinois

Waukegan, Illinois

Iowa City, Iowa

Ewing, Kentucky

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Menahga, Minnesota

Byhalia, Mississippi

Conway, Missouri

Dalton, Nebraska

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Dexter, New York

South Wales, New York

Charlotte, North Carolina

Deep Gap, North Carolina

Fargo, North Dakota

Euclid, Ohio

Boise City, Oklahoma

, Ontario

Marcola, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Media, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Reading, Pennsylvania

Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Collinwood, Tennessee

Ten Mile, Tennessee

College Station, Texas

Edinburg, Texas

Freeport, Texas

Plano, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Staunton, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia

East Wenatchee, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Kennewick, Washington

Langley, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Sumner, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 28, 2017, Emerogork from Wethersfield, CT wrote:

These are poisonous.
These are not poisonous.
Who do I trust?


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

This is a beautiful twining ornamental and a tasty productive vegetable. Blooms are reddish orange and not really scarlet, 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 Jan 31, 2015, negutron from Barker Heights, NC wrote:

The information on this listing is incorrect.

Phaseolus coccineus is a perennial, not an annual; but in North America is is grown as an annual as it is perennial to zone 10+. Maybe this is a failing in how lists things...but it should be known as this site is not just for Americans.

[[email protected]]


On Aug 31, 2013, dicentra63 from West Valley City, UT (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted out my beans at the end of May, and as of the end of August, I've seen not one bean pod on the vine.

Plenty of flowers, and the vines have been vigorous as all get-out. They're getting 6+ hours of sun per day in a raised bed with plenty of compost and stuff.

And yeah, bees, bees, bees.

No beans, though. I've shut off their water supply, the little beggars.

EDITED 10 Sep 2013: Right after I shut off their water, they began to produce pods. Go figure.

The scarlet flowers and vigorous vines were themselves pleasing.


On Oct 19, 2011, Marcola from Marcola, OR wrote:

This is mainly a comment on the note - "Danger: Seed is poisonous if ingested" - I don't think that statement is quite true as I eat Scarlet Runner beans and seeds without observing any bad side effects.

Caution: All beans contain a self-defensive poison protein that is only destroyed by cooking at a boiling temperature for a few minutes.

These beans are beautiful flowering plants and are good as green beans even when the seeds are quite large in the pod. The seeds are beautiful used in arts and crafts projects.


On Jul 25, 2010, PammiePi from Green Cove Springs, FL wrote:

One of my favorite vining plants to grow (along with Moonflowers), this plant is easy to grow and even does well in the high heat & humidity of Floirda, where some beans and pea varieties fail. I grow it on a chain-link fence, where it gets mostly filtered, bright light and it does quite well. Grows quickly & is low-maintenance.


On May 27, 2010, JMASH from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:

i grew these last year from a pack of martha stewart seeds trying to cover ugly fencing they grew so fast and easily w little to no care needed. i saved seed and am growing them all over my yard this year hoping to get hummingbirds in my western pa garden..
the beans were delicious too!!

i tested them myself first to be sure not to make anyone else sick after I researched the plant and read that seed can be toxic....
i prepared them carefully and cooked them well (due to the toxins i have read about in the undercooked seed) and since my regular green bean seed failed(neighbor weed whacked them down off a shared fence ) we all ate these all last summer.

they were so good that this year I just grew these and skipped the normal green beans these ... read more


On Aug 21, 2009, KarenRei from Iowa City, IA wrote:

I planned this bean along with Lazy Wife this year. Based on other user's reviews, I expected that the Lazy Wife would be primarily for eating and the Scarlet Runners for their appearance. But I was pleasantly surprised; not only were the Scarlet Runner bean plants beautiful, but they yielded an excellent green quality bean. The beans are completely stringless until they get about 6-8 inches long, so you don't have to pick every day. They have that classic "green bean" flavor, but with more texture (the outside of the pods is slightly rough). I find them to have a better flavor and less strings than Lazy Wife, which I had bought based on reviews that they were good tasting and stringless!


On Sep 3, 2008, ajveley from Quesnel,
Canada wrote:

I grow Scarlet Runners here in central British Columbia. This was my first year planting them and I used a black plastic grid as a climbing frame (2'' x 2" squares). This did not work as well as I hoped since the vines grew in and out of the grid and some beans were difficult to harvest because they were behind the grid. Next year I will use poles or twine secured at the top and bottom.
I also had a problem with some animal eating the plants (rabbit or deer), so I used stucco wire to cage the plants. No more problems.


On May 15, 2008, Chambo from Sumner, WA wrote:

I wish every vegetable in my garden was like this one: producing beautiful flowers all summer long and also being very productive! And so easy to grow! It would be a fantastic choice for a first-time gardener, especially to provide a very positive experience for a young child's first attempt at gardening.


On Jun 14, 2007, Syrumani from Whitsett, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I found these seeds very difficult to germinate. I had purchased 10, and had tried to germinate seeds in various manners. On the 10th seed, I was able to germinate seed with a heat mat. The vine itself grew ok, and grew to 6' tall. It was not a very full vine - it looked a bit scraggly (nothing like pictures posted here). IF I grow these again (which is unlikely), I will of course use the heat mat for germination, and not put the vine in full sun.


On Mar 28, 2007, strata from Sunnyvale, CA wrote:

Grew like the dickens. Some problems with aphids and with cottony scale. VERY attractive to hummingbirds, as noted by others. I'm especially intrigued by someone's note that it can be a perennial. I had trouble pulling it up and instead snipped off the plant, figuring the decomposing roots would be easier to pull or break up in the spring. When I went to add compost and plant something else in mid March where it had grown, I had to dig out some enormous woody tuberous roots. Makes me wonder if it would have resprouted? If so, I'm surprised it hadn't done so yet, as fallen beans that I missed have been popping up all over my garden due to unseasonably warm weather. This will definitely be a regular; was growing it only for dry beans, not harvesting as green. Dry beans have a marve... read more


On May 31, 2006, blackbunny from Provincetown, MA wrote:

I join the other people who've had great luck with this plant attracting hummingbirds. I actually had hummers fighting over the one or two plants I had growing last year, despite the fact that I had other attractive h-bird plants. This year I've stuck it wherever I can near a verticle support because of this. It's nice because beans get along with almost everything else I grow, so won't compete in limited space. Another bonus is that I will always have a supply of seeds for next year to grow and give away.


On Aug 18, 2005, oldseed from Dexter, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

Great plant to grow on anything vertical. It is very pretty and is a real hummingbird attractor, with fire red blooms. I used it as a seasonal privacy barrier. My soil is PH neutral and it grew well even in the recent drought.


On Oct 31, 2004, emilyrasmus from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This fantasic bean has edible flowers and pods that can reach up to 12 inches long. My vines grew a minimum of 12 ft each and need some type of structure to climb up and around. The only issue I had was when I initially planted them in the garden some of the beans became infested with some type of insect larvae. This problem was easily remedied by started them inside and them planting them outside.


On Aug 26, 2004, herbalsoap from Deep Gap, NC (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have grown the scarlet runners for food primarily. After the harvest i canned them for the winter months food storage. When you cook them they loose all the color and look like large butter beans, but the purple black color enhances the flavor. A little butter, some fresh herbs, salt and pepper disguises the strong flavor and theres nothing better for the palate than the full density of these beans. Word of caution: Wear a hat and look both ways before standing up when your weeding a row of these beans, the humming birds fly in at a super sonic rate. One skimmed the top of my head, the hum sounded morn like a horn... scared me to death!


On Aug 24, 2004, MsLiza from Centereach, NY wrote:

I needed something to grow on my new arbor and my neighbor suggested this plant and gave me a packet of seeds. I planted the beans after the last frost in pots outside, covered so that the squirrels wouldn't find the beans and then transplanted two-three plantlings on each side of the arbor inside and out of each leg. I had fabulous results and would love to plant this again next spring. It grew so fast! On the seed packet it said they were annuals but I read elsewhere that it was a perennial. I suppose I will find out in the spring. It is truly a lovely vine with delicate red-orange flowers.


On Jun 20, 2004, LindaTX8 from NE Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I liked this plant originally because I wanted a colorful vine for a chainlink fence. A friend had germinated some seeds and shared the plants with me. The beans were okay as for as eating, although I didn't get a lot. But what I discovered after awhile was that hummingbirds just love the blooms! I garden for the wildlife and have many hummer plants. Have never heard of this being a hummer plant, but often they'll visit these plants before going to the other hummer plants.
Linda, in Texas


On Jan 6, 2003, Janiejoy from Silver Lake, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

These can also be called scarlet conqueror, fire bean, mammoth, red giant, scarlet emperor, and white Dutch runner.
They are beautiful decorative plants that work well with white morning glories on fences. The beans are best when used young and small, the bigger they get the stringier they are but the flavor is always delicious true green bean type flavor. They can be invasive if not kept in check.


On Aug 25, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This fast-growing vine produces clusters of brilliant red flowers that bloom mid summer to frost. The flowers are followed by green pods that turn purple and can be eaten.The seeds are black,mottled red.Needs support for the vines to grow on.