The Malawi Green beans were brought to Malawi by German colonizers in the 1800s who grew them as the Malachite Bean. They have a beautiful iridescent green shimmer like malachite.
The seeds are brought to us by William Woys Weaver, an internationally known food historian, author, and heirloom gardener living in Devon, Pennsylvania. His Roughwood Seed Collection began informally in 1932 by his grandfather H. Ralph Weaver (1896-1956). When William discovered this seed collection in a freezer many years later, he decided to grow out the rare and unusual plants his grandfather had accumulated.
While our original seed came from Malawi (Africa), we later discovered that this highly productive bean was developed at the former Royal Agricultural Academy in Hohenheim, Germany. It was later exported to Africa while the German Empire maintained colonies there prior to World War I. Dating to the 1850s, this unusual bean was known commercially in Europe as the Malachite Bean due to its unique blue-green color similar to the mineral of the same name. The 4-inch pods on 6-foot vines ripen brownish-yellow with 5 to 6 beans per pod. Try this bean for an unusual green bean soup! Terrific flavor.