Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Yin Yang’

A thank you to a local acquaintance, Meighan@Flickr, for this playful image (original | via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Much appreciated!

These dwarf French beans are known commonly as black calypso beans, yin yang beans or, as Meighan illustrates, orca beans. Despite the group broadly being called French beans, the genetic origins of this kind of bean are in Central and South America. The English moniker of French bean is due to an association of where they first became popular in Europe.

I’ve tried to track down the origin of this specific cultivar, as there is conflicting information online (with many references to it being a heritage cultivar). The source I most lean toward trusting is the 2004 book Beans by Aliza Green (there’s a limerick there, somewhere), where she writes: “This boutique bean…was developed by growers in Europe, where it’s become quite popular”. The Royal Horticultural Society’s Horticultural Database (linked above) notes an illustration of the cultivar in The Garden from 2002; I’ve looked at that issue and ‘Yin Yang’ dwarf French bean appears under the headline “Exciting New Cultivars”. This seems to conflict with what I would consider a heritage cultivar, though even if it strictly isn’t, it is still an intriguing and fun bean.

Phaseolus vulgaris 'Yin Yang'

16 responses to “Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Yin Yang’”

  1. Wendy Cutler

    “Boutique”, “heritage” – one buzz word is as good as another, or whatever sells. These really are too cute (pretty cute photo too).

  2. Jessica

    That photo is totally delightful! So funny!
    That’s a beautiful bean.

  3. Sue Webster

    Here’s a start for the limerick.
    There was a young lady called Green,
    Wrote a book about the French bean,
    But she …
    Who can finish it?

  4. al jablan

    there was a young lady called Green
    who went to pick a French bean
    but it was a brown deer tick
    that gave her a pinprick
    right by her pink panties silk seam
    that was before my lapdog loaded the Orca
    which scares the hell out of you when it comes torja
    then swim like Phelps
    paint sculpture like Niki St Phalle
    it dont rhyme but a bean aint either orca

  5. al jablan

    had I but seen that the number of bean was th accurs d thirteen
    I could ve counted on rider as fishmeal once the Orca was mounted
    neither that Pythagorean miss Green
    of French bean was ever hued green
    but black and white which arent colours but surfeit or lack of light.

  6. Alexander Jablanczy

    I found the black beans morbid and sinister
    but I will ne er admit to be a morose spinister
    and that miss Green the Aliza
    isnt Doolittle or did a lot Eliza
    there is much to be said for a punchline that finister.

  7. Deb Lievens

    Well, I can’t match any of the above, but I love the juxtaposition of botany, “art”, and food.

  8. elizabeth a airhart

    i rather think grandma added a lot of wine
    to her bean soup on the back burner

  9. Don Fenton

    I grew these for a few years, until I lost them in a bad season: I called them “art deco beans”

  10. Diana Ferguson

    Just so lovely! Thanks a lot for this one. Smile from ear to ear

  11. Bonnie

    The link beans showed me nothing. It wasn’t until I got to the Central and South America that I learned what kind of bean they are. I was unsure before that if they were edible.

  12. Steve Edler

    Many years ago, on occasional visits to London, we would see a gentleman carrying a billboard warning of “five lustful proteins.” These included beans. So, in his memory, move over Ms Duffy.
    There was a young lady called Green,
    Who was warned of the dangers of bean.
    To eat them is risky
    As they make you quite frisky
    And you could do something obscene.

  13. elizabeth a airhart

    grandmas bean soup
    is just about done
    i shall wait by the gate
    so do not be late
    i have to be home
    by half past eight

  14. Pat

    There was a lady in Philadelphia called Aliza Green
    Whose book detailed every known bean
    Her chili was so colourful
    Varied and beautiful
    But always full of the finest protein.

  15. Janka

    There once was one Aliza Green
    Who researched a book about beans.
    One, resembling an orca
    Made her clutch her aorta,
    It contained such splendid proteins.

  16. LXR

    Thirteen months later, and I’m reading this.
    Steve Elder might be interested in this link of the man with the sign.
    And in contrast to Aliza Green, the man who warned of beans was yet another Green, namely Stanley.

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