Green Bean
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Green Bean

Lots of green beans in a pile
A pile of raw green beans
Cooked and cut green beans
Whole raw green beans packed in a punnet for sale
Four varieties of the common green bean presenting variation in color, size, shape, and texture

Green beans are the unripe, young fruit of various cultivars of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).[1][2] Immature or young pods of the runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), yardlong bean (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis), and hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus) are used in a similar way.[3] Green beans are known by many common names, including French beans,[4]string beans,[4]snap beans,[4]snaps,[5][6] and the French name haricot vert. They are also known as Baguio beans in Philippine English, to distinguish them from yardlong beans.[7] Other locals in the vegetable farming regions of the Philippines refer these as "habitchuelas". It is commonly grown in the northern highlands of Benguet, Mountain Province and Nueva Vizcaya, and other mid-elevation areas in the country like Bukidnon, Quezon and Laguna.[8][9]

They are distinguished from the many other varieties of beans in that green beans are harvested and consumed with their enclosing pods, before the bean seeds inside have fully matured. An analogous practice is the harvest and consumption of unripened pea pods, as is done with snow peas or sugar snap peas.

Culinary use and nutrition

Green common beans on the plant
Pickled beans
Canned beans

Green beans are eaten around the world, and are sold fresh, canned, and frozen. They can be eaten raw or steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked. They are commonly cooked in other dishes such as soups, stews and casseroles. Green beans can also be pickled, much like cucumbers are.

A dish with green beans popular throughout the northern US, particularly at Thanksgiving, is green bean casserole, a dish of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French-fried onions.[10] Some US restaurants serve green beans that are battered and fried, such as green bean tempura. Another popular dish, coo, consists solely of bean seeds that have been removed from their enclosing pods. Green beans are also sold dried, or fried with vegetables such as carrots, corn, and peas, as vegetable chips.

Green beans are a notable source of the flavonol glucuronide miquelianin,[11] an antioxidant in humans.[12][13]


Green beans were first domesticated in Peru.[14]


The first "stringless" bean was bred in 1894 by Calvin Keeney, called the "father of the stringless bean", while working in Le Roy, New York.[15] Most modern green bean varieties do not have strings.[3]


Green beans are classified by growth habit into two major groups, "bush" (or "dwarf") beans and "pole" (or "climbing") beans.[16][17][18]

  • Bush beans are short plants, growing to not more than 2 feet (61 cm) in height, often without requiring supports. They generally reach maturity and produce all of their fruit in a relatively short period of time, then cease to produce. Owing to this concentrated production and ease of mechanized harvesting, bush-type beans are those most often grown on commercial farms. Bush green beans are usually cultivars of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).
  • Pole beans have a climbing habit and produce a twisting vine, which must be supported by "poles", trellises, or other means. Pole beans may be common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) or yardlong beans (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis).[19][20]

Half-runner beans have both bush and pole characteristics, and are sometimes classified separately from bush and pole varieties.[21][22][23][24] Their runners can be about 3-10 feet long.[25]


Varieties of climbing French beans, from left: 'The Hunter', 'Cosse Violette', 'Rob Roy', 'Rob Splashed', 'Kingston Gold'

Over 130 varieties (cultivars) of edible pod beans are known.[26] Varieties specialized for use as green beans, selected for the succulence and flavor of their green pods, are the ones usually grown in the home vegetable garden, and many varieties exist. Beans with various pod colors (green, purple, red, or streaked.[27]) are collectively known as snap beans, while green beans are exclusively green. Shapes range from thin "fillet" types to wide "romano" types and more common types in between.[further explanation needed] Yellow-podded green beans are also known as wax beans.[3]

All of the following varieties have green pods and are Phaseolus vulgaris, unless otherwise specified:

Bush (dwarf) types

  • Blue Lake 274[2]
  • Contender[28]
  • Derby (1990 AAS winner)[2]
  • Golden Wax Improved (yellow/wax), 60 days
  • Greencrop, 53 days
  • Heavyweight II, 53 days
  • Improved Tendergreen[29]
  • Provider[28]
  • Rocquencourt (yellow/wax), 50 days, heirloom[30]
  • Royal Burgundy (purple pod), 55 days
  • Stringless Green Pod, heirloom[31]
  • Triomphe de Farcy, 48 days, heirloom

Pole (climbing) types


According to UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAOSTAT), the top producers of green beans (in metric tonnes) in 2018.[33]

Rank Country Production
1  China 19,897,100
2  Indonesia 939,598
3  India 715,141
4  Turkey 580,949
5  Thailand 315,293
6  Egypt 284,299
7  Italy 163,824
8  Morocco 148,392
9  Spain 138,925
10  Bangladesh 134,860
World 24,752,675


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  13. ^ Juergenliemk, G.; Boje, K.; Huewel, S.; Lohmann, C.; Galla, H. J.; Nahrstedt, A. (2003). "In VitroStudies Indicate that Miquelianin (Quercetin 3-O-ß-D-Glucuronopyranoside) is Able to Reach the CNS from the Small Intestine". Planta Medica. 69 (11): 1013-1017. doi:10.1055/s-2003-45148. PMID 14735439.
  14. ^ University of Arizona
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  21. ^ "Planting Directions for White Half-Runner Beans". Retrieved 2018.
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  29. ^ "Improved Tendergreen Bush Green Bean". Retrieved 2018.
  30. ^ "Three Heirloom Beans". Retrieved 2020.
  31. ^ "Seedsmen Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2018.
  32. ^ Runner beans are beautiful and edible - Oregon State University Agricultural Extension
  33. ^ "Production of Green Bean by countries". UN Food and Agriculture Organization. 2018. Retrieved 2020.

External links

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