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Scarlet Runner Bean
Jefferson planted this lovely bean with its showy flowers in 1812: "Arbor beans white, crimson, scarlet, purple...on long walk of garden." The Scarlet Runner is a Central American native that was popularized by Philip Miller, the great English eighteenth-century garden writer. Although, Bernard McMahon noted in 1806 that it was grown exclusively as an ornamental, Scarlet Runner Bean is still regularly grown in Europe for its edible bean.