What are beans and how are they different from beans

In translated literature and foreign films, the mention of beans is often found. They are bought, prepared, eaten, added to other dishes. In the overwhelming majority of cases, we are talking about common beans, but sometimes we really mean the fruits of a plant called Common Bean.

Why there is such a confusion about what beans are, how they differ from beans, whether they are vegetables or fruits - read the article.

What are beans

What are beans and how are they different from beans

To begin with, let's define what is meant by this word.

It all depends on the context. There are three options:

  • name of the fruit;
  • relation to the botanical family;
  • plant.

Reference. You can't call a bean a pod. These are different concepts.

This is what the beans look like - a photo of the plant.

What are beans and how are they different from beans

Like fruit

This is the fruit of a plant of the legume family, consisting of two closed valves, inside which are seeds. They are attached to the bottom seam with seed pods. Their shape is different: short and long, straight and curved, twisted into a spiral and 4-sided with wavy wings.

From a botanical point of view, beans differ from pods in that they have an internal septum. And the legume seeds are attached to it, not the flaps.

Ripe fruits dry out, burst, and seeds spill out onto the ground. But in some plants they do not open. And peanuts generally develop and ripen in the soil.

As a family

The legume family is very extensive - it includes plants from grass to trees.It includes beans, peas and Russian beans, but the whole list is much more extensive:

  • soy;
  • chickpeas;
  • lupine;
  • acacia;
  • lentils;
  • wisteria;
  • Vika;
  • alfalfa;
  • sweet clover;
  • clover;
  • mimosa;
  • acacia;
  • and some other exotic plants.

These are food, forage, ornamental plants, honey plants, and even trees (for example, amaranth, doussia, merbau).

The added value of the representatives of this family lies in the ability to increase the fertility of even the poorest soils by enriching them with nitrogen. For this, legume symbionts are responsible - nodule bacteria that settle on the roots of these plants and bind atmospheric inorganic nitrogen, converting it into organic matter.

Reference. Legumes all over the world are intensively used in agriculture and industry.

We only eat legume seeds (with the exception of asparagus forms, which use the stem). Of the familiar to us, the smallest seeds are in lentils, the largest in Russian beans.

What are beans and how are they different from beans

Seeds vary in shape, size and color:

  • lentils - small flattened, green, brownish, yellow, orange;
  • peas, chickpea, soy - round, green, yellow;
  • beans - oblong, have the richest color range - white, yellow, brown, red, black, speckled, two-colored;
  • garden beans - wide, flattened and large, green, light brown, purple, almost black.

Like a plant

These fruits are called ordinary, garden, Russian and horse.

In agriculture, they are divided into fodder and vegetables. The former are more productive than the latter.

By the way! The State Register includes 16 varieties of vegetables and 14 varieties of fodder.

Plants reach a height of 0.5 to 1.5 m. Flowers are located in the leaf axils. Fruits are formed there.

Common beans are one of the most ancient agricultural crops on Earth. They were grown in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, all over the Mediterranean. Not found in the wild.

In Russia, this plant has been cultivated for over 1000 years. It grows in almost all climatic zones, except for the Far North.

What are beans

What are beans and how are they different from beans

There are several classifications of plants according to various characteristics, so it is difficult to say unequivocally whether legumes are vegetables or not.

"Vegetables" and "fruits" - definitions not from scientific botany, but from everyday life. So, in the scientific sense, acacia, beans and sweet peas are close relatives, at the everyday level these are plants of a different order. For an ordinary person, the first is a tree, the second is a vegetable, and the third is a flower.

According to the agricultural classification, legumes are classified as vegetables or legumes.

By the way! From a botanical point of view, the same plant can belong to different categories in agriculture. For example, beans and peas, which are harvested in a ripe state, are legumes, while asparagus beans and peas harvested in wax ripeness for conservation are vegetables.

In cooking, these crops are vegetables.

Beans and beans are the same or not

Few know what is the difference between beans and legumes. Speaking about her, you can use the word "beans" if you mean belonging to a common family. It is also permissible to use the phrase "beans" when referring to the fruits of this plant. But the word "beans" cannot be combined with a plant called common bean.

Although these two cultures belong to the same family, they are relatives, rather "cousins". Beans are a generic plant, but ordinary beans belong to the genus of peas, or vetch.

Important! Peas and sweet peas are different types of plants. However, "green peas" are traditionally called canned peas.

Where the beans grow

What are beans and how are they different from beans

The homeland of this plant is considered the Mediterranean, but it is successfully grown in more northern regions. For a long time, it was one of the main agricultural crops in Russia. But over time, it was supplanted by potatoes and beans as more productive and faster ripening plants.

Today, the main attention to vegetable beans is shown by the owners of summer cottages and personal subsidiary farms. Little is grown on an industrial scale. But every year the agricultural areas for this crop are gradually increasing.

Russian beans grow in different climates, and there are zoned varieties for colder climates. The best temperature for setting fruits is considered to be + 25 ° C, at a higher temperature they do not ripen, and the ovaries fall off.


Common beans and beans are different plants. They have common features, but there are many differences. Unfortunately, there are practically no beans in our diet, meanwhile they are delicious, nutritious and very healthy vegetables. You can correct the situation by starting to grow this crop on your own in summer cottages and vegetable gardens.

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