Green beans (American English), also known as
French beans and Runner beans
(British English), are the unripe fruit of any kind of bean,
including the yardlong bean, the hyacinth 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.
The first "stringless" bean was bred in 1894 by Calvin Keeney,
called the "father of the stringless bean," while working in Le Roy,
Green beans are of nearly
universal distribution. They are marketed canned, frozen, and fresh.
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. 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 radishes.
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
- Bush types
- Burpee's Stringless Green Pod, 50 days
- Contender, 50 days (green)
- Rocdor, 53 days (yellow)
- Cherokee Wax, 55 days (yellow), 1948
- Golden Wax/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
- Improved Commodore/Bush Kentucky Wonder,
60 days (green), 1945 AAS winner
- Dragon's Tongue, 60 days (streaked)
- 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
- Rattlesnake, 73 days (streaked,
- Purple King, 75 days (purple
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