Green beans refer to the unripe young fruit of several common bean cultivars like snap beans, lima beans, and pinto beans. We also consider runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus), yardlong beans (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis), and hyacinth beans (Lablab purpureus) as green beans because they are prepared, cooked, and eaten the same way. Most importantly, they are harvested the same way – the pods are picked before the seeds inside have fully matured.
Species: P. vulgaris
Binomial name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Green Bean Trivia
- Avoid eating overmature green beans. They are often tough and stringy.
- Mexico is among the first to cultivate green beans.
- The green beans that have spread worldwide by way of Central America came from Peru.
- Green beans are typically planted alongside or alternately with corn.
- It was the French who was the first to put green beans on their restaurant menus.
- Green beans were exclusively ornamental in Spain because the flowers look great but the bean pods are tough to eat. According to a popular folk story, some green beans fell into a pot by accident, and even though it was unintentional, the people eating the food loved it. Since then, they started eating green beans.
- The Iowa-based Seed Savers Exchange, an international network of seed collections, has over 4,000 varieties (and growing) of beans in their collection.
- We value green bean plants because of the edible pods, but they have a butterfly-like blossom that comes in different shades of red, pink, or white, and they are really pretty.