Denise and Lindsay's Iris

Denise and Lindsay's Iris
Photo by J Hulse

Friday, April 27, 2012



Family: Leguminosiae
Genus: Phaseolus
Species: vulgaris
Green beans (American English), also known as French beans (British English), are the unripe fruit of any kind of bean, including the yardlong bean the winged bean, and especially the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), whose pods are also usually called string beans in the northeastern United States, but can also be called snap beans.
Green bean varieties have been bred especially for the fleshiness, flavor, or sweetness of their pods. Haricots verts, French for "green beans", may refer to a longer, thinner type of green bean than the typical American green bean.

Culinary use
green beans (raw)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
129 kJ (31 kcal)
7.1 g
3.6 g
0.1 g
1.8 g
16 mg (19%)
1 mg (8%)
200 mg (4%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Green beans are often steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked in casseroles. A dish with green beans popular throughout the United States, particularly at Thanksgiving, is green bean casserole, which consists of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French fried onions.
Some restaurants in the USA serve green beans that are battered and fried, and Japanese restaurants in the United States frequently serve green bean tempura. Green beans are also sold dried and fried with vegetables like carrots, corn, and peas.
Beans contain high concentrations of lectins and may be harmful if consumed in excess in uncooked or improperly cooked form.
Green beans are found in two major groups, bush beans and pole beans.
Bush beans are short plants, growing to approximately two feet in height, without requiring supports. They generally reach maturity and produce all of their fruit in a relatively short period of time, then cease to produce. Gardeners may grow more than one crop of bush beans in a season.
Over 130 varieties of snap bean are known.  Varieties specialized for use as green beans, selected for the succulence and flavor of their pods, are the ones usually grown in the home vegetable garden, and many varieties exist. Pod color can be green, golden, purple, red, or streaked. Shapes range from thin "fillet" types to wide "romano" types and more common types in between. French Haricots verts (green beans) are bred for flavorful pods.
The following varieties are among the most common and widely grown.
Bush types
  • Bountiful, 50 days (green, heirloom)
  • Burpee's Stringless Green Pod, 50 days (green, heirloom)
  • Contender, 50 days (green)
  • Topcrop, 51 days (green), 1950 AAS winner
  • Rocdor (Roc d'Or), 53 days (yellow)
  • Cherokee Wax, 55 days (yellow), 1948 AAS winner
  • Improved Golden Wax/Pencil Pod Black Wax/Top Notch, 55 days (yellow, heirloom)
  • Red Swan, 55 days (red)
  • Blue Lake 274, 58 days (green)
  • Maxibel, 59 days (green fillet)
  • Roma II, 59 days (green romano)
  • Improved Commodore/Bush Kentucky Wonder, 60 days (green), 1945 AAS winner
  • Dragon's Tongue, 60 days (streaked)

Green pole beans on beanpoles.
Pole types
  • Meraviglia di Venezia (Marvel of Venice), 54 days (yellow romano)
  • Blue Lake, 60 days (green)
  • Fortex, 60 days (green fillet)
  • Kentucky Blue, 63 days (green), 1991 AAS winner
  • Old Homestead/Kentucky Wonder, 65 days (green, heirloom)
  • Kentucky Wonder Wax, 67 days (yellow, heirloom)
  • Rattlesnake, 73 days (streaked, heirloom)
  • Purple King, 75 days (purple)