Why are the bean pods on my pole bean plant the wrong color?

Asked July 23, 2014, 5:26 PM EDT

I am growing burgundy pole beans in my garden and have found some bean pods that are full-sized but pale yellow and flat. There are beans inside, but the beans are very small. The bean pods I'm referring to were on the top of the plant, so they were getting plenty of sun. (There are also smaller ones like this at the bottom, inside my "tepee," but I'm guessing that those leaves/plants are not getting adequate sunlight.) What is going on?

Scott County Iowa

1 Response

Fruit shape and color are genetic traits. So there seem to be two possible reasons why the plants are producing flat, pale yellow pods when you planted a variety that should produce roundish, purple pods. One possibility is that seed from a different variety somehow got into the seed packet (due to a mix-up in the field or in the packaging facility). Another possibility is that one or more pods did not develop normally in the field due to some type of mutation. The genetically different seeds produce off-type pods.