Scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus coccineus)
A Central American native that was popularized by the great 18th-century English garden writer, Philip Miller, Scarlet Runner Bean is still very popular in Europe for its edible beans. Jefferson planted this lovely annual vine with its showy scarlet flowers in 1812, noting: "Arbor beans white, crimson, scarlet, purple...on long walk of garden." In 1806 the Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon wrote that it was grown in America exclusively as an ornamental. Attractive to hummingbirds.