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A picture of a Runner Bean

Runner Bean

Phaseolus coccineus

Also known as

Scarlet Runner Bean, Dutch Case-Knife Bean, Multiflora Bean, Bean

Phaseolus coccineus flores by EvaK (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Runner Bean

A close up of a Phaseolus coccineus flower
A close up of some runner beans on a Phaseolus coccineus plant
A photo of Runner Bean
A photo of Runner Bean
A photo of Runner Bean

Runner Bean Overview

The Runner Bean is similar to the common bean but differs in the way that it is a perennial that has fleshy rhizome roots. However, because it is frost tender it is often grown like an annual in the UK. Fast growing with striking scarlet flowers this plant is as much of an ornamental as it is a vegetable crop.

Common problems with Runner Bean

Runner Bean Companion Plants

How to harvest Runner Bean

Harvest the immature green pods can be harvested from the plant by cutting them from the stem. Continuous harvesting encourages higher yields.

How to propagate Runner Bean


Can be sown indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost in Spring or outside after the last frost. Plants will need staking or framework to climb once germinated. Sow 15-20cm apart.


Rhizomes can be divided to propagate the plant during the spring in warm climates.

Special features of Runner Bean

Attracts butterflies

Attracts bees

Attractive flowers

Bright scarlet flowers stand out against the lush green foliage.

Crop rotation

Runner Beans are legumes and so they enrich the soil with Nitrogen.

Other uses of Runner Bean

Cultivated worldwide for their beans


The immature bean pods can be used as a cooked vegetable.

Edibles to Sow Outdoors in June

Now the soil has warmed up, sow direct into prepared beds.

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