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Question from my son: "What bean makes the largest seed?"

 
Nicole Alderman
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My son wants to know what beans (like green bean-type of bean) that makes the largest bean seed.

I don't think it's limited to just Phaseolus vulgaris "green beans"--things like runner beans or other beans that can be eaten like green beans, would probably count.

My husband is having no look searching google for an answer, so I thought I'd search the brains of permies for an answer!
 
thomas rubino
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Why Nicole;   It would be the bean that Jack had...
download.jpg
[Thumbnail for download.jpg]
 
D Nikolls
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thomas rubino wrote:Why Nicole;   It would be the bean that Jack had...



Baseless speculation! No reason to assume the beans were large just because the vine was!

And now that I've typed that, it sounds like the punchline to an obscene joke... oh well.
 
Nicole Alderman
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thomas rubino wrote:Why Nicole;   It would be the bean that Jack had...



Ah, but that's the PLANT. Jack's magic beans seemed to be the same size as other bean seeds. He's--for some reason--interested just in the size of the bean seed.
 
Ben House
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I know you said green bean types, but my first thought was Butter Beans. They are about the size of a half dollar sometimes.
 
Skandi Rogers
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I would say butter bean, I expect you can eat them when they are green, or Broad beans (fava) they can also be eaten when small and green.
 
Phil Stevens
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Aside from favas, I'd say scarlet runners. They have some pretty monstrous seeds.
 
Anita Martin
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Phil Stevens wrote:Aside from favas, I'd say scarlet runners. They have some pretty monstrous seeds.



In Greece, they have some giant beans called "Gigantes" and it seems they are also a type of runner bean (they are made into a dish which you get in any Greece restaurant, and this type of bean is also very popular in Turkey so it is easy to get the dried pulses in the ethnic food section or the small Turkish grocery shops downtown Munich).

Probably the Gigantes is the same variety I am growing which is called "White Giant" (with white flowers). The seeds get really big, but probably not as big as in Greece with warmer weather.
ETA: I just read that the Fasolia Gigantes is a protected name of origin for this bean which is cultivated in some Northern Greece regions.

Here in Central Europe those white runner beans and the fava beans are the biggest we can grow.
It is too cold for Lima/butter beans.
 
Marc Dube
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Truthfully i don't know much about beans but I do know there are different varieties of Fava beans and I have seen some as big as a quarter.
 
M. Phelps
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the butter beans are quite big... taste great too..
they are used in dishes at a local vegan rastafarian restaurant

here are a couple more, which if they are grown for novelty alone
might get bigger

Entada gigas  Sea Heart

"A large, vigorous vine in the legume family, native to the tropical Americas and Africa. While its robust stems and pinnate foliage are not unattractive, its most notable feature are its giant seed pods that can reach a length of 2 m and hold up to 15 large, glossy, dark brown, heart shaped seeds. The seeds float and can be distributed by ocean currents over large distances, which probably accounts for its curious distribution pattern."

another similar plant is:
Dioclea reflexa  Sea Bean

"An attractive climber found in coastal forests along tropical seashores worldwide. The large, attractive seeds are called sea beans and are distributed by ocean currents. Often found washed up on seashores, they are popular to make natural jewelry."

descriptions from the rare palm seeds website
 
Greg Martin
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Anita Martin wrote:In Greece, they have some giant beans called "Gigantes" and it seems they are also a type of runner bean (they are made into a dish which you get in any Greece restaurant, and this type of bean is also very popular in Turkey so it is easy to get the dried pulses in the ethnic food section or the small Turkish grocery shops downtown Munich).

Probably the Gigantes is the same variety I am growing which is called "White Giant" (with white flowers). The seeds get really big, but probably not as big as in Greece with warmer weather.
ETA: I just read that the Fasolia Gigantes is a protected name of origin for this bean which is cultivated in some Northern Greece regions.

Here in Central Europe those white runner beans and the fava beans are the biggest we can grow.
It is too cold for Lima/butter beans.


I picked up some large white runner bean selections from Seed Savers that are nice.  Here's pictures of the dried seeds that I got.  The central selection had the largest seeds as they were thicker/more solid than the selection on the left.  The person listing these said they can be up to 1.75" long in the shelly stage!  Gigandes Seed Savers Listing
20201009_090931.jpg
White runner beans from Seed Savers members
White runner beans from Seed Savers members
 
Ellendra Nauriel
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I think Jack Beans (Canavalia ensiformis) are probably the biggest I've ever seen, but they're hard to find seeds for. There's a runner bean variety called "Folsom Indian Ruin" sold by Seed Treasures that's big, even compared to other runner beans.

Scarlet Runner is probably the biggest widely-available variety.

When comparing bean sizes, look for a catalog that tells you the number of seeds per ounce. The smaller the number, the bigger the seed.
 
Anita Martin
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Greg Martin wrote:
I picked up some large white runner bean selections from Seed Savers that are nice.  Here's picks of the dried seeds that I got.  The central selection had the largest seeds as they were thicker/more solid than the selection on the left.  The person listing these said they can be up to 1.75" long in the shelly stage!  Gigandes Seed Savers Listing


Interesting. We have something similar to Seed Savers here.
Those beans do indeed look like the gigantes you get in Greek restaurants.

Inspired by this thread I picked some of the dried beans yesterday (the shells have mostly dried by now) and soaked them. Today I cooked them with tomatoes, garlic, onions, parsley and oregano to eat with homemade bread. Even my son who is not a big veggie eater said they tasted delicious.
I have got pics but on my phone. The biggest seeds after cooking were about 3 cm (over an inch).
 
John Indaburgh
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My dried Christmas lima beans measure slightly over an inch. My wife says that canned butter beans come larger and smaller than than the Christmas beans but when I pointed out that the Christmas Lima's we were looking at were dry she gave up.
 
Phil Gardener
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Dr Martin's Lima is a pretty good size!

 
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