Last summer, my sister planted horticulture beans in her raised bed and was surprised to see them vine like a pole bean. She had grown them before and never had this issue. My parents and I have also grown them for years and had never seen this.
As you can see from the picture, mine are doing the same thing Kay’s did last year. I used to get my horticulture bean seed from our local hardware store, but they closed this winter so I ordered this year’s crop from Shumway’s. Kay got her seeds from Shumway’s last year, too.
Aha! I think we’re onto something! I grabbed my Shumway’s catalog and read that this bean is called a French Horticultural and has a semi-running habit. I know my hardware store variety was called “horticulture,” but I don’t know what “sub-variety” it was. Obviously, it wasn’t a semi-runner.
My family has used horticulture beans as shell beans for years. They are easy to grow, hardy, and taste wonderful with ham hocks or used in chili. They are a pretty bean, too, being primarily white with pink speckles. I guess they’re also not above giving you a surprise every now and then, too! We’ll see how these beans compare to my previous variety.