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Green bean

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lots of green beans in a pile
A pile of raw green beans

Green beans are young, unripe fruits of various cultivars of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris),[1][2] although 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 (French: haricot vert),[4] string beans (although most modern varieties are "stringless"),[4] and snap beans[4] or simply "snaps."[5][6] In the Philippines, they are also known as "Baguio beans" or "habichuelas" to distinguish them from yardlong beans.[7]

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.


Raw green beans
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy131 kJ (31 kcal)
6.97 g
Dietary fiber2.7 g
0.22 g
1.83 g
Vitamin A equiv.
35 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.082 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.104 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.734 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.225 mg
Vitamin B6
0.141 mg
Folate (B9)
33 μg
Vitamin C
12.2 mg
Vitamin K
14.4 μg
37 mg
1.03 mg
25 mg
0.216 mg
38 mg
211 mg
0.24 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water90 g

Percentages estimated using US recommendations for adults,[8] except for potassium, which is estimated based on expert recommendation from the National Academies.[9]

As common food in many countries, green beans 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 be pickled, similarly to cucumbers.

A dish with green beans common 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]



Raw green beans are 90% water, 7% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and contain negligible fat (table). In a 100-gram (3.5-ounce) reference amount, raw green beans supply 31 calories and are a moderate source (range 10–19% of the Daily Value) of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and manganese, while other micronutrients are in low supply (table).



The green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) originated in Central and South America, where there is evidence that it has been cultivated in Mexico and Peru for thousands of years.[11]



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.[12] 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.[13][14][15]

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, 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).[16][17]

Half-runner beans have both bush and pole characteristics, and are sometimes classified separately from bush and pole varieties.[18][19][20][21] Their runners can be about 3–10 feet long.[22][irrelevant citation]


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.[23] 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.[24]) are collectively known as snap beans, while green beans are exclusively green. Pod shapes range from thin and circular ("fillet" types) to wide and flat ("romano" types) and more common types in between.

The three most commonly known types of green beans belonging to the species Phaseolus vulgaris are string or snap beans, which may be round or have a flat pod; stringless or French beans, which lack a tough, fibrous string running along the length of the pod; and runner beans, which belong to a separate species, Phaseolus coccineus. Green beans may have a purple rather than green pod, which changes to green when cooked.[25][page needed] Yellow-podded green beans are also known as wax beans.[3] Wax bean cultivars are commonly of the bush or dwarf form.[26][page needed]

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

Bush (dwarf) types

  • Blue Lake 274[2]
  • Contender[27]
  • Derby (1990 AAS winner)[2]
  • Golden Wax Improved (yellow/wax), 60 days
  • Greencrop, 53 days
  • Heavyweight II, 53 days
  • Improved Tendergreen[28]
  • Provider[27]
  • Rocquencourt (yellow/wax), 50 days, heirloom[29]
  • Royal Burgundy (purple pod), 55 days
  • Stringless Green Pod, heirloom[30]
  • Triomphe de Farcy, 48 days, heirloom
Production of
green beans – 2020
Country (Millions of tonnes)
 China 18.0
 Indonesia 0.9
 India 0.6
 Turkey 0.5
 Thailand 0.3
World 23.3
Source: FAOSTAT of the United Nations[31]

Pole (climbing) types




In 2020, world production of green beans was 23 million tonnes, with China accounting for 77% of the total (table).



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  2. ^ a b c d e f "Beans – Vegetable Directory – Watch Your Garden Grow – University of Illinois Extension".
  3. ^ a b c "Growing beans in Minnesota home gardens". University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Green, Aliza (2004). Field Guide to Produce. Quirk Books. p. 126. ISBN 978-1-931686-80-8.
  5. ^ Singh BK and Singh B. 2015. Breeding perspectives of snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Vegetable Science 42(1): 1-17.
  6. ^ Hatch, Peter J. (April 24, 2012). "A Rich Spot of Earth": Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello. Yale University Press. pp. 159–161. ISBN 978-0-300-17114-3.
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  8. ^ United States Food and Drug Administration (2024). "Daily Value on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels". FDA. Archived from the original on March 27, 2024. Retrieved March 28, 2024.
  9. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Food and Nutrition Board; Committee to Review the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium (2019). Oria, Maria; Harrison, Meghan; Stallings, Virginia A. (eds.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press (US). ISBN 978-0-309-48834-1. PMID 30844154. Archived from the original on May 9, 2024. Retrieved June 21, 2024.
  10. ^ Cook's Illustrated (2004). The New Best Recipe. America's Test Kitchen.
  11. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 12, 2020. Retrieved November 30, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Taylor's guide to heirloom vegetables. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1996. ISBN 0-395-70818-4.
  13. ^ McGee, Rose Marie Nichols; Stuckey, Maggie (2002). The Bountiful Container. Workman Publishing.
  14. ^ Garrelts, C.; Garrelts, Megan; Lee, Bonjwing (2011). Bluestem: The Cookbook. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-4494-0061-3.
  15. ^ a b c How to Grow French BeansRoyal Horticultural Society, RHS Gardening
  16. ^ Capomolla, F. (2017). Growing Food the Italian Way. Pan Macmillan Australia. p. 143. ISBN 978-1-76055-490-3. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  17. ^ Watson, B. (1996). Taylor's Guide to Heirloom Vegetables. TAYLOR'S WEEKEND GARDENING GUIDES. Houghton Mifflin. p. 238. ISBN 978-0-395-70818-7. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  18. ^ "Planting Directions for White Half-Runner Beans". sfgate.com. September 30, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  19. ^ Torpey, Jodi (January 9, 2016). Blue Ribbon Vegetable Gardening: The Secrets to Growing the Biggest and Best Prizewinning Produce. Storey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61212-395-0. Retrieved May 24, 2018 – via Google Books.
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  22. ^ Séguret, Susi Gott (January 24, 2017). Appalachian Appetite: Recipes from the Heart of America. Hatherleigh Press. ISBN 978-1-57826-705-7. Retrieved May 24, 2018 – via Google Books.
  23. ^ Facciola, Stephen (1998). Cornucopia II : a source book of edible plants. Kampong Publications. ISBN 0-9628087-2-5.
  24. ^ Singh B K, Pathak K A, Ramakrishna Y, Verma V K and Deka B C. 2011. "Purple-podded French bean with high antioxidant content." ICAR News: A Science and Technology Newsletter 17 (3): 9.
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  27. ^ a b "Bean Varieties: Best Bets and Easy-to-Grow". May 10, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  28. ^ "Improved Tendergreen Bush Green Bean". Retrieved December 23, 2018.
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  30. ^ "Seedsmen Hall of Fame". Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  31. ^ "Production of green beans in 2020, Crops/Regions/World list/Production Quantity (pick lists)". UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Corporate Statistical Database (FAOSTAT). 2022. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  32. ^ Runner beans are edible – Oregon State University Agricultural Extension