Purple King beans

I decided to order seeds for my summer vegetables by mail order online. It was really good because I got to choose from heaps of varieties you don’t often see in the nursery. It was very hard to stop my self from buying all sorts of exotic things. The chocolate-coloured capsicum was one I was particularly drawn to, but looking at my long list of candidates it had to be rejected. I decided that prettiness and weirdness probably weren’t the best characteristics to use to choose a vegetable. The Purple King climbing bean also sounded weird and pretty and unlike the capsicum it made the final cut. It had recommendations from two reliable gardeners, enough to allow it to remain on the list. Jackie French said that it was very hardy in droughts and neglected gardens, which sounded like a good trait. Peter Cundall promised highly attractive clusters of purple pods that turn green when cooked. The idea of this magic bean was too much to resist.


It has turned out to be a winner. It was easy to germinate and it has grown up a pole more than two metres tall. Most importantly it is bearing gorgeous purple beans.


The best part about Purple King is the amazing transformation when you cook the beans. From purple…


…it starts to change


…and ends up green!


It’s a very unusual colour raw, so it would look gorgeous in a salad. Once it undergoes its chameleon transformation it looks quite ordinary.


I’d definitely recommend it as a fun vegetable to grow. You will need to be able to train it up a trellis or a bean pole though, so it might not be suitable for a balcony.

I can’t resist finishing with my beautiful sunflowers. I usually tell myself that I put in flowers with my veggies for my housemate, but I must admit I love them too.


9 thoughts on “Purple King beans

  1. I love the picture of the sunflower, those flowers always make me smile, they are such happy flowers.

    I’m quite jealous of your gardening ability. Last year I tried to grow dwarf beans, and I think I only harvested 1 bean. It was pathetic!!

    I must try these magical beans….next year.

    • Miss Honey – thanks, that’s so sweet!
      Howard – they do taste like normal beans, just in a prettier skin.
      Maria – the dwarf beans sound disappointing, better luck next time ๐Ÿ™‚
      Belle – Peter Cundall is a legend, I’m hoping he’ll write a new book now he’s retired from TV.
      Lorraine – they taste pretty normal, but it’s exciting to watch them cooking.

  2. my dad let me plant tons and tons of watermelon seeds in our balcony pots when i was younger.. we lived in an apartment on the third floor.. no fruit thank god but it was like a living green curtain for our friends downstairs hehehe

  3. Ooh it’s such a shame to have to cook these pretty things. Such a pity they turn green. I think you’re right – they’d be great in a salad and being homegrown they should be wonderfully sweet. I have the worst green thumb in the world so I envy your horticultural talents!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s