Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Saving Chinese Bean Seeds. 10.4.16

Shelled Bean Seeds.  10.4.16

Red Variegated Beans.  10.4.16
 This year I decided to resurrect the Chinese pole beans (ChangChun Beans) that Ning grew around 10 years ago, and the seeds were older than that.  The actual green beans are pictured
Chinese Green Bean Pole Beans from 8.28.16
below.  I know the seed packets were at least 10 years old.  I located a post from when we grew these in 2008, and as I recall, the seeds were not fresh even then.  I have never seen beans like these anywhere, so I am interested in preserving the seeds and possibly, passing them on to other gardeners.

There won't be more seeds where these came from, so the goal was to see if I could grow some from the ancient packets, and if they grow, save the seeds for next year.

I do also have an envelope with about 25 seeds from last year, that I can combine with these if I find them.

The beans were fairly diverse.  There were 5 distinct, types, with 4 pictured here.  There was a pale green wide pod, with red speckles and stripes, a dark green wide pod with black speckles and stripes, a green wide pod, and a green narrow pod.

Shelling these, the pale/red speckled pod corresponded to a white bean seed with red speckles; the dark/black speckeled pod corresponded to white beans with black speckles, and some that were solid black.  The all green pods had all-red beans, and the narrow / round green beans had white seeds.

I think the two red types in the photo are just variations of the same type.

It's been raining, and some of the pods are mildewed, while some remain green.  I've harvested about 2/3 of the remaining pods.  These are allowing to dry more, inside the house.  Then they will go into envelopes and possibly other container, and saved.  We can see next year if they are viable, and if they reproduce true to type.  It's possible some will hybridize because different types were near one another, in some cases intertwined.  They may require a few years of isolation to purify the strains.
Dried Bean Pods.  10.4.16
Now that these have grown through an entire cycle, from seed to plant to seed, I'm optimistic that the ChangChun beans will be with us for some time.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, do they hybridize itself or self mutated? That's a question that I often ask myself. My Italian pole bean did the samething. My scarlet runner have finally hybridized with a smaller and bigger bean that it has miniaturized and enlarged to 2 different sizes, very freaky. I didn't hand pollinate them.