Mix It Up: Crash Course in Bean Genetics

“there are so many types of beans i’d like to try some day.does anyone have a seed packet with a lot of different kinds in it to try. ~S.”


Are you interested in snap or dry beans?

If snap, a number of companies offer mixtures of green, gold, and purple snap beans.

If dry, then, unfortunately, it is unlikely there will  ever be a mixed dry bean packet.  The reason for this is that although beans are self-fertile (pollinate themselves), having multiple types of beans together in the same row could lead to cross pollination.

When pollen from one plant lands on the flower of another plant, the
resulting seed carries the DNA from both the mom (flower) and the dad
(pollen).  The resulting seed will have characteristics of both parents, but
the rest of the plant that it is attached to (the ‘mother’ plant) will have
only characteristics of the ‘mother’.

By virtue of this, any crop were a seed is the food eaten from the plant, it
is not a good idea to grow different varieties together because the risk of
cross pollination is higher.  For crops like beans, peas, corn, and cowpeas,
it is best to put some distance between different varieties, unless
otherwise indicated.

If this same question were asked with squash, pumpkins, celery, potatoes, or
any other crop where the root, stem, tuber, leaf, petiole, flower, or fleshy
fruit was eaten, then the answer would be that you could have a mixture.
The color or texture of the seeds are not an important factor in the quality
of the crop.




© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

One thought on “Mix It Up: Crash Course in Bean Genetics

  1. Great post. I used to check this blog frequently and was afraid you had stopped blogging. Glad to see you are back!
    Thank you and best of luck on the future posts. Looking forward to them!

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