They grow in narrow, stringless pods up to 6 inches (15 cm) long.
If harvested young, Refugee Beans can be used as a green bean.
The beans themselves are pink with dark red speckles.
Refugee Beans were reputedly brought to America and England by Huguenots (Protestants) from France. Huguenots were persecuted during the period from 1618 to 1787. During the “high point” (from 1618 to 1725), between 5 to 7 thousand Huguenots moved to America. The bean was certainly in America at least by 1774, because it was mentioned on the 16 November 1774 in the Pennsylvania Gazette under one of its synonyms — “Valentine Bean.”
The North American name of “Refugee Beans” possibly comes about because of its association with the Huguenots.
Literature & Lore
Refugee Beans are called “Turkish Date Beans” in Germany.