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 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.
Bean originally meant the seed of the broad bean, but was later broadened to include members of the genus phaseolus such as the common bean or haricot and the runner bean and the related genus vigna. The term is
now applied in a general way to many other related plants such as soybeans, peas, lentils, vetches and lupins. Bean can be used as a near synonym of pulse, an edible legume, though the term "pulses" is usually reserved
for leguminous crops harvested for their dry grain. Pulses usually excludes crops mainly used for oil extraction or those used exclusively for sowing purposes (clover and alfalfa). Leguminous crops harvested green for food like snap beans, green peas etc. Are classified as vegetable crops. In english usage beans sometimes also refer to seeds or other organs of non leguminosae, for example coffee beans, castor beans and cocoa beans , and vanilla beans .
Bright 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, which consists of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French fried onions.
Beans contain high concentrations of lectins and may be harmful if consumed in excess in uncooked or improperly cooked form.
A light but rich soil is best when growing French Beans. Cold, wet heavy soil, or soil that is acid is deadly to them. Planting the French Beans in a sunny, sheltered part of your garden is best.Bed is to be prepared in the autumn . Like all peas and beans lime should be added at this point if the soil is too acid.
Growing French Beans in the same spot as last year is to be avoided.
In the spring fork over the bed in preparation for growing the French Beans, breaking it down to a finer tilth - raking in a general fertiliser two weeks before start planting this variety of green bean.
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.
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)
Kentucky Wonder - 60 days (green), 1945 AAS winner
Dragon's Tongue - 60 days (streaked)
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
Wonder - 65 days (green, heirloom)
Kentucky Wonder Wax - 67 days (yellow, heirloom)
Rattlesnake - 73 days (streaked, heirloom)
Purple King - 75 days (purple)