Friday, March 14, 2008

Crimson Flowered Fava Beans

The Crimson Flowered Fava is an old (1778) and now extremely rare variety. It was apparently rescued from extinction when Mrs. Cutbush from Kent gave her remaining (4!) seeds to the Henry Doubleday Research Association. The Association was able to grow them out. Now they are available from a few sources such as the SSE Yearbook and I've found a couple of Canadian seed companies that carry it. The 6-inch pods grow on three-foot tall stalks. The red flowers make the plant beautiful enough to grow in an ornamental border. The plant is not only ornamental, the beans are supposed to be delicious too.

I got my seeds through the SSE Yearbook from Copia a few years ago. When it came time to plant them I decided not to do so because I might move before I could reap the harvest. Then I gave most of the seeds away and kept just a few for myself. Now that I've got a new garden spot I've finally sown the few seeds that I had saved for myself. Sixteen seeds went into the ground a couple of weeks ago and I'm happy to see that all but one have germinated and look to be healthy. Can't wait to see the flowers and taste the beans.

1 comment:

  1. hello,
    i just did a search for crimson favas on google. i miss the crimson favas that were my first introduction to the plant. i must admit that i never owned any crimson favas. my only experience of them was being around them all the time when i was giving tours with my fiance, who was the garden educator at Copia. so i find it really funny that my first search result was copia related. i am now going to try and find some, because they are beautiful.

    they had hundreds and hundreds of them growing all over. it was amazing.

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