There are tons of types of beans, over 700 different ones. Hardly anyone knows them all. This is in large part due to the fact that some varieties have several names at the same time. You quickly lose track of things. A distinction is usually made between types of beans according to their properties and possible uses. In Germany you can choose between around 100 types of beans.


  • An incredible number of different types of beans
  • Many sub-varieties
  • Most commonly grown in Central Europe: Green beans or haricot beans
  • French and runner beans
  • Different culture guides
  • Different tastes
  • Green beans poisonous in their raw state
  • Annuals, mostly herbaceous plants
  • Come from different continents
  • Most varieties healthy and nutritious
  • Some are staple foods

Field beans (Vicia faba)

Field beans – also known as broad beans or broad beans, belong to the genus of the vetch (Vicia) and not to the kidney beans (Phaseolus). The parentage is not known.

  • Heights between 0.3 and 2 m
  • Taproot up to 1m deep
  • Flowering period between May and June
  • large fragrant flowers
  • Fruits ripen in June and July
  • round shape of the bean
  • firm, thick, inedible shell, mild, slightly nutty taste
  • Cultivation is not difficult, it is important to meet the high water demand
  • Used as feed for animals and for human consumption
  • Seeds can be eaten fresh and dried
  • Inhaled pollen and beans consumed raw can be toxic

French beans (Phaseolus vulgaris var.Nanus)

Bush beans – are among the fresh beans, large variety – around 400 varieties, come from America, early beans, grow on rather low bushes, annual plants, different colored varieties, e.g. yellow, green, purple, usually very productive, easy to care for and robust, man lets them sprawl, 30 to 60 cm high, they do not need any support or climbing aid, from 60 days to harvest, early harvest, early and late varieties, yield on 1 m² – about 1.2 to 1.3 kg, ideal as a second crop , because they can be sown until the beginning of July, contains a lot of minerals, fiber and vitamins, has a cholesterol and blood sugar lowering effect

  • Many varieties: e.g. ‘Primado’, ‘Gusty’, ‘Brown Dutch’, ‘Golddukat’ and ‘Borlotto Rosso’
  • With yellow-colored pods – wax beans
  • Unsuitable for raw consumption

Feuerbohnen (Phaseolus coccineus)

Firebeans – belong to the fresh beans, are also called runner beans, Turkish or Arabian beans or Gigantes beans, come from South America, some red varieties, which could explain the name, are cultivated in Central Europe as annuals, often as ornamental plants. Furthermore, the plants can be 4 to 5 m high and need a framework, large beans, legumes up to 25 cm long, the seeds are also large, about 2.5 cm, mild-spicy, nutty taste, seeds can also be brown in addition to red, black, mottled purple or white, especially beautiful flowers,

  • Numerous varieties, e.g. ‘Lady Di’, ‘Hestia’ and ‘Emergo’
  • The flowers, the young legumes and the dried seeds are edible
  • The raw beans are poisonous (lectins)

Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Haricot beans are the classic beans when speaking of the bean. Depending on the type of growth, a distinction is made between broad beans and runner beans.

Kidneybohnen (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Kidney beans – the name comes from the shape of the bean, which is shaped like a kidney. Kidney means kidney. Incidentally, they are also called Indian beans, kidney beans or red beans and come from Peru. They have a dark red color, are waxy and convince with a sweetish and very spicy taste as well as a soft and floury consistency. They are mainly grown in Africa and the USA and also contain a lot of vegetable proteins and fiber. They can also be used as dried beans or canned beans. Both are easy to prepare. The plants are also easy to grow. Similar to French beans, also in Central Europe. Here they get up to 60 cm high.

  • Mainly known for its chili con carne
  • Sorten: ‘Canadian Wonder‘, ‘Red Kidney‘ und ‘Dark Red Kidney’

Green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Princess bean – tender green beans, also called delicacy beans, belong to the group of French beans, often used for canning, are harvested young, stringless shell, are served whole,

  • Common varieties: ‘Prinzessa’, ‘Apollo’, ‘Primavera’ and ‘Molly’

Stangenbohnen (Phaseolus vulgaris var. Vulgaris)

Runner beans – belong to the fresh beans, also known as green beans or wax beans, a subspecies of the kidney bean, grows tall, therefore needs a climbing aid that they can climb up to, up to 3 m high, interesting flowers, fine, soft skin, neutral, milder Taste, high-yielding, about 1.6 to 2 kg per m², easy to care for, good as a privacy screen, around 20 varieties, are harvested when they are not ripe, do not leave hanging too long, often sold as green beans and cut beans, contain protein, minerals, vitamin C. , Fiber, phytoetrogens

  • Frequently offered varieties: ‘Blauhilde’ and ‘Bluevetta’ = blue varieties or ‘Limka’, ‘Cobra’ or ‘Neckarkönigin’
  • Other vegetables can be grown between the beans
  • Thrive well with cabbage, lettuce, radish, radishes, celery, beetroot, savory, marigolds, marigolds
  • Not with peas, onions, leeks and fennel
  • Not for raw consumption

Sojabohnen (Glycine max(L.) MERR)

Soybean – originally from China, the world’s most important oilseed, different shapes, e.g. round, arched or oblong, rather small, basis for soybean oil, tofu, soy milk, soy sauce and a lot more, nutty taste, contain around 20 percent oil and 37 percent protein, Annual plant, many convarieties and varieties, mostly upright bean varieties, 20 to 80 cm height, some varieties up to 2 m in height, pronounced taproot up to 1.5 m.

Cultivation is difficult. European soils lack the soy-specific nodule bacteria that plants need. The seeds would therefore have to be inoculated with the necessary bacterial symbionts. The soy plant is also a short-day plant. We have long-day conditions in summer. This increases the growth time.

  • Varieties: ‘ES MENTOR’, ‘FLAVIA’, ‘AMPHOR’ and ‘ESSOR’

Black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Black turtle’)

Black bean – especially popular in Mexican cuisine, South American staple food, dark bean, on the other hand light-colored inside, narrow, round beans, shiny black skin, pulp with a floury consistency, very aromatic, slightly sweet taste, healthy, versatile, very tasty, but difficult to digest, go well with spicy and exotic dishes, contain a lot of carbohydrates, fiber and protein, but only little fat, long satiety time, take a long time to cook

  • Cultivation is said to be quite easy

Mungobohne (Vigna radiata)

Mung beans are often referred to as bean sprouts, which is simply wrong. They have been grown for more than 1,000 years. They are herbaceous plants that can grow 30 to 150 cm high. The beans are elongated, with two growing per fruit cluster. They also contain 7 to 20 seeds, which can appear green, yellow or black. Mung beans are very easy to digest and do not cause gas like other beans. However, they have little taste of their own. Mung bean sprouts are tasty, healthy, and germinate easily. They are ideal for wok dishes as well as salads and can be eaten raw. In India, the mung bean is also a staple food. The high protein content is important. The raw sprouts are low in calories and also rich in fiber, vitamins, folic acid and other important substances.

There are significantly more types of beans, but the ones listed here are the most commonly grown or most used.

Frequently asked questions

Why are raw green beans poisonous?
In fact, raw beans are very poisonous. They contain the poison phasin, a lectin, a sugar-binding protein. The protein binds to the red blood cells and they then clump together. In addition, severe metabolic damage can occur because molecules attach to the villi. Phasin is temperature-sensitive; it changes its chemical structure when it is hot and ultimately becomes non-toxic. However, the beans have to cook for 15 minutes.

Which beans are best for newbies?
For beginners, French beans are recommended. They are the easiest to grow. There are also numerous varieties. They are delicious and completely uncomplicated in terms of the growing conditions.

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