General description and special characteristics – An annual legume, the common bean includes bushy varieties (bush beans) as well as vining types (pole beans) that may reach about 2 m (6.6 ft.) in height. Certain varieties of common bean are grown for their pods and seeds, which are cooked and eaten together when immature. Others, such as haricot bean, are grown for their seeds, which are usually dried and eaten when mature. Seeds of the various varieties of the common bean are highly variable in size, shape, and color.
Varieties – Many well-known bean varieties belong to this species (Kidney, Pinto, White, Yellow). Listed below are those included in ECHO Asia’s seed collection.
- Green Bean
- Khasi: Quick producing pole variety from northeast India that produces 12-cm (4.7 in.) long pods with dark brown seeds.
- Naga speckled (pole type) (พันธุ์ถั่วแขกลาย): Similar looking to other varieties, but fruit is dark red and green color also smaller than other varieties.
- Cranberry Bean:
- Bush (พันธุ์ภูฏานพุ่ม): Bushing characteristics, does not need a trellis.
- Mae Ai (พันธุ์ท้องถิ่นเลื้อย): Pole variety, the pod is a distinctive speckled-pink color. Shows good resistance to disease. Considered to have a creamy / nutty flavor.