Wild Pigeon is an old-style Eastern Woodland Native American semi-pole bean that produces seeds in half-moon shaped pods close to the ground. The 2 to 3 foot vines are ideal for growing on corn when planted the indigenous way in hills. The bean was used historically as a shelly bean or more commonly as a dry bean cooked with corn and game.
Wild Pigeon was documented in 1868 by German bean specialist Georg von Martens as an “old bean” widely known to collectors in Europe. E. F. Waugh reported in 1916 that the bean was found on the Grand River Reservation in Ontario, thus confirming its indigenous name among Iroquois peoples. The indigenous name “wild pigeon” is due to the gray color in reference to the now extinct passenger pigeon whose fall migrations coincided with the ripening and harvest of this bean.