Top 10 Broad Bean Varieties

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Broad beans (fava beans) are a joy to grow. Opening the shiny pods for the very first time and seeing the beans nestled in their furry beds is just fabulous! These are some of our favourite varieties.

Masterpiece Green Longpod

An excellent long pod variety producing long pods that contain up to 8 green beans. A very high yielding heritage variety dating from the late 1800′s with a superb flavour. Awarded the RHS Award Of Garden Merit (AGM).

Aquadulce Claudia

Probably the best broad bean variety for sowing in the autumn. It is hardy enough to withstand winter frosts and gives an early harvest of tasty, white seeded long pods. Another heritage variety from the 1850′s which has received the RHS Award Of Garden Merit (AGM).

Bunyard’s Exhibition

This variety was introduced in pre-1835. A long pod variety producing a large harvest of delicious flavoured white seeded beans with up to 9 beans per pod.

The Sutton

A great dwarf variety growing to just 12 inches which makes it ideal for small gardens and exposed sites. First introduced in 1923 The Sutton can be sown in late autumn, under cloches, and gives a good yield of 6-inch pods containing 5 tasty beans. Awarded the RHS Award Of Garden Merit (AGM).

Red Epicure 

If you want to grow a broad bean that is a bit different then try this variety. The pods contain up to 5 crimson red beans which as well as tasting lovely add a vibrant splash of colour to the dinner plate (when steamed). Dates from 1894.

Imperial Green Longpod

An excellent variety that ticks all the boxes. The plants produce a very heavy harvest with pods growing up to 15 inches in length containing 9 green beans. The taste is superb and the beans freeze well. Awarded the RHS Award Of Garden Merit (AGM). What more could you ask for?

Witkiem Manita 

A good variety for early spring sowings with tolerance to the cold weather. It is very high yielding and fast-maturing so gives an early harvest of short pods containing top quality white beans. Awarded the RHS Award Of Garden Merit (AGM)

Medes 

A medium height, a compact plant which produces an excellent, heavy crop of medium length pods containing up to 6 white tender, juicy beans. Suitable for a spring sowing and awarded the RHS Award Of Garden Merit (AGM).

Optica 

Being a lower growing plant it is ideal for small kitchen gardens and has been awarded the RHS Award Of Garden Merit (AGM). It is a very heavy cropper with short pods containing 5 white beans which have a wonderful flavour. If the pods are picked young they can be eaten whole.

Stero 

An extremely popular slender podded variety which sets mange-tout style pods that are so tender and sweet that they can be eaten raw or just lightly steamed. Regular picking will ensure a heavy yield and later in the season, you can allow the beans to form inside the pods for harvesting in the normal way.

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