Blue beans

This year I planted ‘Sacre Bleu’ beans, which are highly selected for uniform blue kidney-shaped beans, and ‘Nonna Agnes Blue’, which are less uniform, both in color and shape. I have them vining together, and I hand pollinated, but I didn’t emasculate or bag, so not sure about crossing results. I was hoping to get a broader genetic pool. Sacre Blue is beautiful, but looks more black by the time I use it. Nonna Agnes Blue has lighter exemplars that hold their color better, but it’s part of a spectrum. I’ve been told that its color is heat dependent, but that doesn’t match my experience in my garden, where pods ripening side by side can have different colors on the same vine.

Here’s my first harvest of parent Nonna Agnes, and it looks pretty true to type, so can’t say if crossing occurred. Many, many more to harvest though, as they dry down. I’ll be watching for oddballs as I shell, but otherwise I expect to do selection in the spring, when color has had a chance to degrade, and plant the bluest, and the most likely to have resulted from crosses.

Color is a bit lighter (and thus bluer) in real life. I think my phone is increasing contrast automatically. I’ll update when I have anything that looks different than this to share.


There’s a guy who is also pursuing blue beans, here: The Biologist Is In: The Color of Beans 6


Thanks for that. He’s got some interesting, still somewhat theoretical genetics there, and possibly some other leads I can follow for improving these lines. The only problem is that I’ll probably get sucked into reading all of his other posts now… :slight_smile: