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  1. #1
    GardeningMike is offline Seedling
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    St Leonards-on-Sea

    Default RED RUM runner beans - claims of self-pollinating & earlier harvests???

    I am curious to hear from readers of their experiences with the runner bean RED RUM in relation to the two points below...

    RED RUM - a self-pollinating variety...
    I have heard claims, from two different sources, that this variety is self-pollinating. If this is true then earlier harvests would be expected from this variety, compared to the other ones, as pollinating insects (which are not abundant in late spring/early summer) would not be required for pod setting (as is the case for example with the self-pollinating french beans). If this is true then Red Rum should set pods inside a greenhouse or by a window indoors with sufficient light (i.e. in the absence of pollinators). Has anyone found this to be the case?

    RED RUM - harvestable pods in 40 days from sowing...
    ... and so claims the blurb in the T&M seed catalogue! Personally I don't believe it. Last year I ran a trial of Red Rum alongside Painted Lady (sown & grown under identical conditions in a split-pot trial). The first harvest from Red Rum occured at the same time as that from Painted Lady (around 90 days from sowing). Has anyone any evidence for a 40 day harvest as claimed by T&M?
    Last edited by GardeningMike; 22-03-2009 at 03:26 AM.

  2. #2
    TrialAndError is offline Sprouter
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    West Midlands, clay soil


    Hmm! I was thinking about growing Red Rum next year, hence I read this old post.

    As far as I understand it, all Runner beans are self-pollinating (maybe self-fertile would be a better description). This means that they do not require another variety of runner bean to pollinate them, any variety (including themselves) will do. But they still require bees so a bee-less environment will result in flowers maybe but not any runner beans. Similar principal to a self-fertile apple tree.

    As for the pods in 40 days, what would T&M know about that. As far I know Red Rum is a Tozer developed variety. Certainly if you click on Red Rum on their page here:
    Runner Bean | Tozer Seeds
    The care guide indicates a normal 90 day period to maturity.

  3. #3
    Thelma Sanders is offline Mature Fruiter
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Willesborough, Kent


    Red Rum was the result of a cross between runner beans and French beans. French beans are indeed self pollinating/fertilising within the flower, often before it even opens - so no insects required. Red Rum does set more reliably than other 'ordinary' runners but I preferred the taste of Moonlight, the white runner X French bean

    Ordinary runner beans usually rely on insects to trip the flowers to release pollen or to bring pollen from another flower for pollination/fertilization to take place.

    I didn't find the new beans any earlier, but outside they depend on the weather!

  4. #4
    Potstubsdustbins's Avatar
    Potstubsdustbins is offline Gardening Guru
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    I used to grow Red Rum but changed this year to Firestorm the red version of Moonlight.

    Harvest was plentiful and the taste good will be growing them again next year.

    Potty by name Potty by nature.

    By appointment of VeggieChicken Member of the Nutters club.

    We hang petty thieves and appoint great ones to public office.

    Aesop 620BC-560BC

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