A perennial in the tropics, it can be overwintered in colder areas if the tuberous roots are brought inside. The vines grow 8 to 12 feet (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 metres) long, with dark-green, heart-shaped leaves. Each vine will produce about 20 flowers, which are edible and can be used as a garnish in salads (though you won’t of course get any beans from it afterwards.) The flowers and leaves are attractive, allowing the plant to do double-duty as an ornamental and a food plant. Scarlet runner beans should be planted in soil that is high in organic matter and in full sun. They grow quickly and require support. It is not necessary to tie these beans, as they will twine around anything close by. The seeds are large and should be planted 2 to 3 inches apart to minimise overcrowding.
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