The name – which in French means ‘purple pod’– aptly describes this climbing French bean. However, the novel colouration isn’t restricted to just the pods: the stems and flowers are also purple, making the plant an attractive ornamental. Proving that beauty is more then skin deep, Cosse Violette is also a vigorous grower producing good yields of flat, tender pods with an exceptionally good ‘beany’ flavour.
For the best eating quality, harvest the pods when they are about to 15 to 15cmm long, though waiting until they are as long as 18cm is not disastrous. Sadly, the beans lose their stunning purple colour and turn a dark green when cooked, but if you can live with the colour change, then Cosse Violette is a definitely variety that should be added to your must-try list.