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Top 10 French Bean Varieties

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French beans are self-pollinating, very prolific and an incredibly easy vegetable to grow. Available as either a climbing bean (pole bean) or dwarf bean (bush bean). Here are some of our favourite varieties.

Blue Lake

A climbing french bean which is an heirloom variety dating from 1885 producing very high yields of straight, stringless pods that have an excellent flavour. Towards the end of the season, the pods can be left to mature to produce a crop of haricot beans.


This variety is a vigorously growing climbing french bean which will provide you with a huge harvest of long, straight and stringless pods. The beans are very tender and extremely tasty. Awarded the RHS Award Of Garden Merit (AGM).

Kenyan Safari

A dwarf french bean that is very heavy cropping producing large clusters of beans which are held well clear of the soil. The beans are the ‘filet’ type, very slender and stringless with a fabulous flavour. Awarded the RHS Award Of Garden Merit (AGM) it is an excellent variety to grow in containers.

Cherokee Trail Of Tears

These black beans were carried by the Cherokee Indians when they were displaced from their lands in 1838. Thousands died on the march hence the name Trail Of Tears. It is a very prolific climbing french bean with purple pods containing black beans. The pods can be eaten fresh and the beans can be dried.

Purple Teepee

Another excellent dwarf french bean variety that is suitable for growing in containers. The quick maturing pods are purple, pencil-thin and stringless. They are carried above the foliage of the bean plant making harvesting easy. Unfortunately, the wonderful purple pods turn green when cooked but still have a superb taste.

Kingstone Gold

A beautiful yellow podded climbing french bean. The plants grow to 6 foot tall and easily set beans which are tender and full of flavour. Awarded the RHS Award Of Garden Merit (AGM) the golden yellow pods make a striking addition to any vegetable garden.

Cosse Violette (Purple Podded)

An heirloom climbing french bean variety which dates from 1868. It is a very early maturing variety with beautiful deep purple flowers. A very vigorous variety and high yielding with purple beans being produced in large clusters with slightly twisted, slender pods until late in the season.


This is a dwarf french bean which has been grown since the early 1900′s producing meaty, fleshy, stringless beans which are tender with a delicious flavour. The pods mature early and a high yield is maintained throughout a long season. Another excellent variety for container growing.


A colourful purple podded climbing french bean which produces extremely long, fleshy, stringless pods up to 11 inches in length over a long season with an excellent flavour. Resistant to Common Bean Mosaic Virus.

Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco

An Italian variety of climbing bean originally grown in the early 1800′s producing large fabulously coloured pods and beans which are heavily streaked with red. A vigorous climber the stringless pods can be harvested young and eaten whole or allowed to mature to shell for borlotti beans.

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