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Colouring on UK grown beans

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  • Colouring on UK grown beans

    jayb, you wrote in the new topic Grey eyed Greasy Beans, “I noted the seed colour wasn't as bright and the seeds were skinnier than the original. I've noticed before beans grown here sometimes produce paler or less pronounced markings on bean seeds, I think due to the cooler and damp summers that frequent“.

    I was very interested in this observation. The only relevant experience I have by way of comparison of UK versus the Rest of the World is that this year I grew some beans for Russell Crow in US. I sent my offering back with some trepidation as a newbie, but then on his forum, the Little Easy Bean Network, he posted this enthusiastic message:

    Hey, Hey, Hey ! A box of beans from the United Kingdom arrived in the mail box today Via the USDA in California. Thank you for the beautiful extra beans. You did a wonderful job of making the labels and package list. Wow ! Thank you again for what you did. I will tell you this. I have never grown Jacob's Cattle that even comes close to looking like yours. I have other beans that have a very similar coloring and pattern that will come out looking that good. Just not JC. I think I will just save yours to look at. You know I would love to have you grow some Ernie's Big Eye. They look just spectacular when grown in the UK.

    I imagine this is all very variable and it will be interesting to see whether my attempts to grow Ernie’s Big Eye come up to his expectations. But I wonder in general what the effect of cooler and possibly damper (it’s a bit drier in the east where I live) summers are on bean colouring and patterning.

  • #2
    See also if you are member of Bohnenatlas on fb

    Peter Szekeresto Bohnen-Atlas

    10 February at 20:05 ·

    Blooming Prairie. Die Sorte sieht normalerweise wie die Ernte 2019 aus. Die Ernte 2018 war wegen der Trockenheit ungewöhnlich farblos. Aus diesen Bohnen wurden 2019 wieder voll durchgefärbte Bohnen. Ausblassen scheint also auf die Vererbung der Farbe keine Rolle zu spielen.


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Hope this crosspost is ok.  I don't normally do this, but this is interesting.  Peter grew BP which was almost white in dry year 2018 and from those same seeds grew normal again in 2019

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow that is some difference. You would hardly believe they are the same variety. Funnily enough, something quite similar recently on https://www.growingfoodsavingseeds.c...eeds#post11081 posts 3 and 5. Seeing this picture makes it much more likely Purple Amazon (which seed looks very similar to Blooming Prairie above) are the same as the one on Bean window site. Hope that makes sense; two purp;e seeded varieties both with similar faded beans under certain circumstances. How bizarre.

    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      It's an interesting connection to make but I'm not sure that I'm completely convinced. I have a feeling Russell wouldn't put such a vastly atypical photo for Purple Amazon on his website and I think his beans look a rather longer shape as well. But I do have a feeling that purplish beans are particularly variable. I grew Kaiser Friedrich this last year and the beans varied a great deal as to how purple they were
      As a matter of interest, did your Purple Amazon have purple pods as well as purple beans?

  • #3
    Yes, very interesting. He suggests it was drought I think which led to the pale colouring. I wonder whether that’s consistently so.
    But also good to know that it doesn’t affect the next generation.
    I can perhaps ask Russell if he has thoughts about what aspect of his conditions leads to his less colourful Jacob’s Cattle.


    • #4
      That's weird too, I just assumed it was my cooler damper conditions, that caused the differences, whereas it could be the complete opposite!
      Or perhaps both have an influence depending on norm of the bean or colour make up.

      Colour is laid down quite late, perhaps the late stages have more influence than might be thought?


      • #5
        Another example, Anasazi bean original to the left my saved seed to the right (ignore the black seeds underneath, that is an Anasazi cross) I've never been able to grow them and get the seeds the same colour as the originals and I've started seeds from different sources but always end up with the same whiter marking results.

        Click image for larger version

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        • #6
          Other posters on mention the mineral content being responsible for colour generally and one poster mentions specifically the anthocyanin bleaching happening due to less favourable conditions generally. Is this also the case for the purple bleaching in peas?


          • #7
            It seems really difficult to be sure what the pattern is. Russell seems to feel that he consistently gets poor Jacob's Cattle and Ernie's Big Eye, and assumes that they're consistently better in the whole of the UK. Your Anasazi are consistently lighter, jayb. On the other hand Peter's Blooming Prairie variation was due to climate factors in a particular year.


            • #8
              There's also been some discussion on Heirloom Beans Addicts Anonymous of the blue in Nonna Agnes. A lot of the time the beans are brown but at different points in the season they might come as quite a deep blue. There seemed to be soma agreement that heat drains the colour pigment and that the deeper colour occurs when it's cooler.

              That wouldn't sit very well with your Anasazi experience, jayb. Perhaps different colours behave differently.


              • #9
                The seeds I have for Nonna Agnes are a mix of blues to browns. They also seem to have faded a little more to brown, are their thoughts to what influences good hues of blue?


                • Jang
                  Jang commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I think the favourite theory is that a good blue occurs in cooler conditions.

                  I’ve received some Nonna Agnes all of which are brownish. It will be interesting to see what blue I get, if any, and, if I do, when in the season it occurs.