The garden bean P. vulgaris comes from South America originally, where it has been grown for at least 8000 years. Itis, probably, descended from the wild-growing pod plant P. aborigineus, which still grows in Argentina and Brazil. The different kinds of beans which have been grown in Asia for thousands of years have a hidden past in India and the Far East.
The Spaniards brought the bean to Europe at the beginning of the 1500s and then as a decorative climber. Short beans were not sold until the 1820s despite the North American indians having grown them for hundreds of years earlier. The pods of the beans were usually green often with violet spots up to 1830 when the first yellow fibrous golden wax pod arrived. Beans without fibre were not introduced until 1894.
The garden beans are usually classified according to their height in (var.nanus) short beans and (var. vulgaris) French Climbing Bean. These 2 groups are further classified in snap-, wax, and French beans to eat fresh and shelling- or cooking beans which are, usually, allowed to ripen before the harvest. The limits are a little fleeting. Snap-, wax and French beans can be allowed to ripen and be used as shelling beans when dried. Likewise the shelling beans can be enjoyed fresh, young whole pods or shelled, half-ripened seeds. The snap bean and the golden wax pod which have slender, tender, plump pods are harvested before the seeds have developed, while the long, broad, flat pods of the French beans can be allowed to develop small seeds, at least in part.
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