Origin: San Bernardo, Italy
Improvement status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~15
Germination tested 11/2022: 98%
Life cycle: Annual
From the town of San Bernardo in northern Italy, this is a small bean, but it grows on mightily productive plants. It's also incredibly beautiful. It's great for soups, stews, stir-fries, bean pies, chili, hummus or other dips, or whatever else your imagination cooks up!
The blue pigment is heat sensitive and it degrades when the seeds ripen in hot weather, so seeds that ripen during the heat of the summer will be more of a steel grey while those that ripen during cooler weather heading into fall will be a gorgeous sapphire blue. The color is most vivid when the beans are fresh (like Lisa Bloodnick's 'Sacre Bleu' bean, they darken as they age). Very striking. Even the purple flowers are pretty. This is a vigorous pole type, so be sure yo have a good trellis.
This year's seeds were grown by our friend Jason Andrzejewski in Columbus, Michigan.
NOTE: This is the same bean formerly known as 'Nonna Agnes Blue,' but we've determined that a new name is necessary. This bean was introduced to the US by an American who named it after his grandmother, who had no actual connection to the bean or its development. So since no one named Agnes had anything to do with this bean, and we don't know anything about its origin other than the town where it was found, we will henceforth refer to it as 'San Bernardo Blue' (or 'Azzurro di San Bernardo' in Italian). Seed purveyors have a duty to be as transparent as possible when it comes to names and stories attached to seeds, and we feel strongly that 'San Bernardo Blue' is the most appropriate, accurate, and honest name for this bean, based on everything we know about it.