Food Worth Growing: ‘Trionfo Violetto’ Pole Beans

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Back in June I wrote in my Globe & Mail column about growing beans. Within the piece I mentioned a favorite pole variety ‘Trionfo Violetto.’ It’s been years since I have grown this particular variety and now that the plants are in full swing and producing a little crop of beans daily, I can’t understand why I had set it aside and turned to other, inferior varieties for so long.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

First are the dark, pinky-purple flowers depicted in the photo, above. And the way they are set off against the green foliage with a hint of burgundy that almost seems to be applied with a water-color brush.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

All of this accented against slender, dark stems, and long, thin, purple beans that are delicious fresh off the vine. I can buy all manner of green beans at my local Farmers’ Market, but the French fillet-style beans are less popular and cost a small fortune.

Stunning, prolific, and delicious. Next year I will double my planting efforts and stop trying with other less interesting varieties.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved
Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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9 thoughts on “Food Worth Growing: ‘Trionfo Violetto’ Pole Beans

  1. how pretty! what a bonus those flowers are

    one year my mom grew bean with scarlet/orange flowers were gorgeous, okra’s flower is a beauty as well, looks like hibiscis, eggplant is pretty too

  2. love your elegant purple bean beauties … love the tripods too! … made your recommended slo-cook garden stew with my edamame & black eyed’s w tomato, fennel, kale, etc – so gooOOood!

  3. OMG, I was just sitting around last night thinking we NEED to grow purple pole beans!
    I sent my husband out to pick and he missed about fifty because they were your standard green-on-green. Hidden in the shadows of the leaves, they’re hard to spot, even the huge, fat ones.
    Do these ones stay purple even when cooked? My purple bush beans turn green right away.

  4. Meemsnyc: They’re sweet and stay very tender, but are especially good if you harvest them while still very thin.

    Jennifer: They turn green.

  5. I have been growing these and saving seed for a number of years. This year I went away for 3 days, leaving my cat inside. Some little critter(s) thought they’d have a feast while the cat was cooped up and ate them all to the ground. I have some seeds left (never plant all your seed when you’re seed-saving!), but not enough to get both a seed and an eating crop for next year. Do you know of somewhere I could get many many many of these seeds?

  6. I know what you mean – for years I’ve experimented with white-flowered runner beans and other pretty crops but this year for the second in a row, I’m back to my beloved borlotti beans – they are beautiful, they are easy to spot against the foliage, and they dry to make the most delicious winter meals possible: and best of all, whatever’s left in the bean jar by spring gets planted for the following year!

  7. Thanks Elaine!

    Allotment: Oh, I love the Borlotti beans as well. But fortunately, they are easy enough to buy in Toronto, so I save the space for the varieties I can’t get.

    Rosie: Sorry, I don’t know of any bulk sellers; only regularly-sized packages.

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