Bred from Scarlet Emperor, a kitchen garden favourite for over 100 years, Runner Bean Scarlet Empire produces a longer, smoother, more slender pod which are stringless, but is still as early, tasty and productive as its forebear. The plants are vigorous and quick to emerge - essential qualities for early sowings.
Culinary note: Some parts of these flowers are edible. For more details about edible flowers click here.
Sow seeds from mid April indoors for transplanting or sow late April to late June outdoors.
Indoors: Sow seeds individually in 7.5cm (3in) pots at 18-20C (64-68F) 4cm (1½in) deep. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a polythene bag until after germination which takes 7-10 days.
Outdoors : Sow seeds direct into warm soil from late May to late July. Sow seeds 15cm (6in) apart, 5cm (2in) deep and in rows 45cm (18in) apart.
Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 7-10 days before planting out after all risk of frost, against support such as canes or netting.
Hoe regularly and keep plants well watered. Mulch during dry periods.
Runner beans are a good source of Vitamin C, folate, iron and have a high fibre content.
Cook Runner Beans for the minimum of time until tender as one-third of vitamins and some flavour is lost if overcooked. Runner Beans are a good source of Vitamin C, folate and iron and have a high fibre content.