44 Types Of Beans: Top Varieties To Grow At Home

There are many types of beans to be had out there! Our list of favorite varieties will inspire you to broaden your bean horizons and give you plenty of growing options to plant in your garden this season.

Green beans growing off a bush in the garden with dark and moist soil


There are over 400 common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and who knows how many cultivars. With so many different types of beans, it’s difficult to know where to begin! Especially if you’re tight on space in the garden, then it may be a hard task to narrow down which will perform best in your area and which will provide you with the harvest you’re looking for. 

It’s important to consider how you want to use your beans. The two main categories are beans for fresh eating and beans for drying and long-term storage. Most beans can be eaten fresh, though some beans are considered dual-purpose and fall into both categories.

Beans come in many different varieties, such as wax beans, broad beans, butter beans, pole beans, runner beans, yardlong beans, and bush beans. For brevity’s sake, we’ll discuss what you would generally buy in the grocery store instead of including lentils, cocoa beans, and green peas! 

The combination of bean and rice dishes makes a delicious meal and a complete protein. They both lower cholesterol and blood sugar. You’ll find cooked beans in Middle Eastern dishes. Canned chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus. Find them in pasta dishes and minestrone. In Latin America, refried beans and a multitude of other bean dishes are staples. 

In the United States, baked beans are a popular southern side, along with bean salads. They are also used in desserts in Japan, China, and Hawaii, where many dishes feature sweetened adzuki bean paste. Soybeans can also be turned into a dairy substitute known as soy milk. And we can’t forget to mention the ever-popular mung bean soup!  

The benefits of growing your own beans are pretty much countless, but a major pro is the fact that common beans are easily stored. String beans are delicious when eaten raw but can also be frozen, or turned into canned beans. So many beans are suitable for drying, giving you multiple years of storage. Dried beans can be soaked and cooked in soups and stews too. 

Fresh Eating

Green beans and string beans are the most common beans for fresh eating. Some fava beans and mung beans are also great when eaten fresh. Many green beans rarely make it into the house because they’re so delicious right off the plant! They’re perfect for steaming, sauteing, canning, and freezing. 

Here’s a list of reliable plants that produce excellent fresh green beans. Some of the plants on this list are grown to produce a crop that can be stored as well.

Blue Lake 274

Close-up of a growing Blue Lake 274 bean in the garden wrapping around a wooden fence. The vines bear long, narrow green pods and large, wide, heart-shaped, dark green leaves.
Blue Lake 274 beans are a classic variety known for their tender and meaty texture.

With exceptional flavor and tenderness, this green bean is exceptionally good for fresh eating as well as freezing for longer-term storage. Snag some Blue Lake 274 Bush Bean seeds from Botanical Interests! This is a great container variety for small space gardeners.

Each pod is roughly 5 to 6 inches long at full maturity, and produces white beans that are perfectly paired when sauteed with garlic. Their disease resistance means you’ll have large harvests of beans you can eat fresh, or dry and store for later.


Close-up of mature harvested Contender bean pods on the table. The pods are dense, long, narrow, bright green.
Contender beans are bush beans that are easy to grow and produce a high yield.

This green bean is considered an early producer, providing fresh beans in only 50 days! Contender Bush Bean seeds grow beans with delicious, intense flavor. They’re aren’t hard to cultivate either. This stringless variety was developed by growers in 1949, and has been a favorite among bean horticulturalists ever since.

Resistance to mosaic virus and mildews is what makes this plant so successful. From Contender, you can expect continuous harvests, and tons of purple flowers throughout the season. You can eat them right off the plant, or cook them in your kitchen. Either way, you’ll love them.


Close-up of a bunch of mature Ferrari bean pods. The pods are long, blue-green in color, with a slightly rough texture, containing edible seeds inside.
Ferrari beans are gourmet French beans with a creamy texture and delicate flavor.

The Ferrari Bush Bean produces tender, crisp, and delicious fuzz-free pods that are glossy and smooth to the touch. This variety is a heavy producer, and has no problems with anthracnose, or mosaic virus.

The plants produced from these beans are smaller than most, making them great for grow bags and larger containers. They grow up to 16 inches season, meaning you can grow them if your space is a porch or a patio. Grow Ferrari for ensuring you’re always stocked up on beans!

French Filet

Close-up of a bunch of French Filet bean pods on a dark wooden surface. The pods are thin, long, slightly plump, bright green.
French Filet beans are slender and tender, perfect for snacking and cooking.

You can expect delicate flavor from French Filet Bush Bean seeds, even when the pods are picked young. These gourmet beans are also perfect when they are steamed or sauteed. The plant produces pencil-thin beans, akin to those served in fine dining restaurants.

French filet beans are best cooked very lightly, to preserve their delicious crunch. You can keep them at their roughly 4 inch length, or cut them into smaller pieces, but their tenderness may be more evident in smaller pieces. Plant these seeds and you’ll have lovely delicate beans in just two months.

Gold Rush

Close-up of ripening Gold Rush bean pods in the garden amid large, heart-shaped dark green foliage. The pods are long, thin, with a pale yellow skin.
Gold Rush beans are a popular yellow wax bean with a buttery flavor and crisp texture.

The Gold Rush Bush Bean variety produces large crops of golden-white pods known for holding their tender texture and delicate flavor longer than other snap beans. This is a great plant for gardeners who like to add color and interest to their annual veggies. It’s resistant to curly top and mosaic viruses.

If you end up harvesting more than you can eat, Gold Rush freezes very well. And if you don’t make it to the plant in time to harvest, no worries! The beans hold their quality quite well on the plant for longer than most. You’ll be harvesting from 54 days on.


Close-up of many Jade bean pods in a large bowl, indoors. Bean pods are small, elongated-cylindrical in shape, with a slightly curved body of bright green color.
Jade beans are a type of green bean that is easy to grow and has a crunchy texture.

Dark green, just like polished gemstone, the pods of Jade Bush Beans are sweet and tender. The deep green plants with white flowers are super productive. The beans are perfect fresh from the garden, too. Because the plants hold the beans up, you’ll have less trouble with tip rot.

There is so much Jade has to offer, including resistance to bean mosaic virus, curly top, and rust. The long 6.5 inch beans are a favorite among gardeners, and the plant stature allows for container growing if that is what you prefer.  


Close-up of growing pods of Provider beans in the garden. The shrub has medium sized heart-shaped green leaves and long green pods with a tough green outer shell. Yellow marigold blooms against a blurred background.
Provider bean is a bush bean that is a reliable and heavy producer of tender and flavorful beans.

As its name would suggest, this plant provides a large harvest! Provider Bush Bean plants are upright and compact — perfect for small spaces. They are also bushy plants that are easy to harvest. You’ll have so many beans, you’ll have to give some away.

You’re not going to have problems with mosaic virus, pod mottle virus, or powdery mildew. And all those beans may not be eaten as soon as you harvest, but they’re great for freezing or canning. Provider is perfectly able to germinate in cool soil, for those in areas where spring comes later.

Roma II

Close-up of a bunch of ripe Roma II bean pods on a wooden table. The pods are long, flat, narrow, have a rough texture and are pale green in color.
Roma II beans are Italian-style beans that are meaty and great for canning and freezing.

A classic Italian Romano bean on easy-to-pick bushy plants, the beautiful flat green pods of Roma II Bush Beans are filled with tons of flavor! You won’t find snap beans like this in stores. They develop fiber and beans very slowly, making it possible to harvest a little later than you would with other varieties.

Roma II beans are adaptable in the kitchen. Their delicate fresh taste remains if you need to can or freeze them. The plants themselves don’t succumb to rust or certain strains of mosaic virus, and the 4 to 5 inch pods are tender, especially when eat right off the bush.

Royal Burgundy

Close-up of many ripe pods of Royal Burgundy beans. The pods are oblong cylindrical, slightly curved, deep purple in color.
Royal Burgundy bean is a purple bush bean with a sweet flavor that turns green when cooked.

Bright violet-purple pods magically turn emerald green after cooking! The Royal Burgundy Bush Bean variety is also very tender and stringless. The light green leaves of the plant gracefully offset the violet pods, adding a dash of color and anthocyanin to your garden.

This is another variety that works well for gardeners with cooler springs. The plant tends to deter bean beetles, and is ready in roughly 55 days. The flowers mimic the color of the pods, with a deep purple hue.


Close-up of Tavera beans collected in a small bag on a wooden table. The pods are long, cylindrical, straight, rich green in color with a smooth texture.
Tavera beans are a gourmet French bean with a tender texture and nutty flavor.

Similar to the French Filet, this variety was produced specifically for the French restaurant trade. The Tavera Filet Bush Bean grows exquisitely tender and stringless beans. The 15 to 20 inch tall plant works very well in smaller space gardens, growing happily in containers.

Mosaic virus and anthracnose aren’t present among these plants due to their resistance. Because the plants need no staking, this is a great bean plant for beginners, too. Enjoy the delicate beans within a couple of months of planting.


Close-up of growing Windsor bean bushes in a sunny garden. The bushes are low, upright, have oval pale green leaves with pointed ends and green pods, slightly curved, with a round cross section.
Windsor beans are a type of broad bean with a nutty flavor and meaty texture.

These Fava beans have a delectable nutty bean/pea flavor. Windsor Fava Beans are an 1863 heirloom broad bean that is easy to shell and is delicious raw or cooked. It can also be dried for long-term storage and makes an excellent cover crop! However, ensure you do not have favism before you grow these.

The new leaf tips are an excellent garnish, and the flowers are stunning with their black and white pattern. These two things make the plant multi-functional, great for accents in flower beds. Fava beans also tend to be suited to cooler weather, and can withstand freezes. If you’re a gardener in an area with frost-prone springs, consider Windsor!

Blue Lake FM-1K

Close-up of a pile of Blue Lake FM-1K bean pods on a gray wooden surface. The pods are long, plump, thin, covered with a strong green shell that protects the seeds inside.
Blue Lake FM-1K beans are a popular green bean variety that is resistant to certain diseases.

This is a longtime favorite pole bean variety. Blue Lake FM-1K Pole Beans are heavy producers that will ensure plenty of beans for freezing and canning. The 5 to 8 foot plants produce pods that are about 5 to 7 inches long.

If vines are your bag, plant this one! You’ll have tender beans you can harvest all spring and summer. They will resist common mosaic virus, and grow best in areas where the weather doesn’t often reach highs of 90°F (32°C).

Kentucky Wonder

A close-up of a Kentucky Wonder bean bush with ripening pods. The bush has large, wide, heart-shaped leaves of dark green color with a slightly wrinkled structure. The pods are elongated, thin, light green in color.
Kentucky Wonder beans are a classic pole bean with a rich flavor and hearty texture.

You can expect excellent flavor, tender pods, and heavy production from Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean Seeds. This variety has been around since the late 19th century and has been a favorite ever since! 

The adoration of this bean could have to do with its 9 inch long pods that are curved and ovular. It could also be related to its multiple abilities: to be shelled, eaten fresh, frozen, or dried. This is an excellent choice for hot weather growers where other beans may slow production in heat.

Trionfo Violetto

Close-up of a male hand plucking ripe Trionfo Violetto bean pods from a bush, in a garden. The pods are elongated and cylindrical, with purple-glossy skins.
Trionfo Violetto beans are an Italian heirloom bean that is purple and has a creamy texture.

This Italian variety produces slim purple pods that are not only gorgeous on your plate but in the garden as well! Grow Trionfo Violetto Pole Beans in 65-75 days for fresh eating of the purple beans. When you cook them, they magically turn green.  

For large, 6 to 8 foot plants with tons of pods, Trionfo Violetto provides! Its lavender flowers mimic the purple stems and veins of the plant, offsetting the green of the leaves. The pods grow to 6 to 8 inches when mature, and offer a delectable flavor.


Close-up of a Seychelles bean bush in a sunny garden. The bush weaves its vines along vertical wooden supports. The leaves are large, dark green, heart-shaped, with damaged tips. The pods are green, oblong, narrow, with oval seeds inside.
Seychelles beans are a type of lima bean that is known for its tender texture and buttery flavor.

Deep green stringless pods come early (within 55-65 days!) and continue producing up until the first frost. The Seychelles Pole Bean variety is also disease resistant, fending off anthracnose and common bean mosaic virus. The 4 to 6 inch pods may be slower to develop, but they’re worth the wait.

Expect to provide a trellis for the 7 to 9 foot long vines of Seychelles. Because these are sensitive to frost, they are better in a warm spring and summer garden free of cold weather.

Orient Wonder

Close-up of an Orient Wonder bean bush in the garden. The bush is tall, lush, has large oval leaves of dark green color and very long and narrow pods of pale green color.
Orient Wonder beans are an Asian pole bean that is crisp and tender.

This is a pole yardlong variety that produces 18-inch long pods! They can be cut up and used fresh like any snap bean. Orient Wonder Pole Yard Long Beans are particularly heat tolerant, which makes them great for Southern gardens. 

Next to their heat tolerance, Orient Wonder can withstand fluctuations in precipitation and temperature easily. Their indestructible nature is surpassed by the incredibly long pods, which reach up to 30 inches sometimes! More often you’ll harvest those foot-long to 1.5 foot long pods, though.

Gold Mine

Close-up of a bunch of harvested Gold Mine bean pods in a large wooden box, in a sunny garden. The pods are long, cylindrical, with a pale yellow shell.
Gold Mine beans are a yellow wax bean that is easy to grow.

This is a high-yielding ultra sweet yellow wax bean, that is produced in large clusters for easy picking. This bush variety is container friendly, and grows beans that are less than half a foot long. You can expect an early yield from the plants, and production within 55 days.

Many regions are suitable for a crop of Gold Mine beans. Eat them straight from the vine, or chop them up and eat them raw on a salad. Alternatively, cook them like a regular green bean. It doesn’t matter how you enjoy them; they’ll keep their sweetness in any form.

Purple Queen

Close-up of a bunch of harvested Purple Queen bean pods on a white background. The pods are oblong, narrow, plump, slightly curved, covered with a dense purple and slightly rough shell.
Purple Queen beans are a purple snap bean that is sweet and tender.

This heirloom variety produces beautiful purple beans that turn green after cooking. Another bush variety that is well suited to small spaces and container gardening, it’s also suited to areas with cooler spring and summer temperatures.

This is one of those purple varieties that turns green after cooking, emulating the deep green of its foliage. The texture of the beans is ever so tender, and the flavor is deep and complex, which should be of interest to gardeners who spring for interesting culinary delights.

Early Bush Italian

Close-up of a pile of Early Bush Italian beans emptied out of a large wicker basket, indoors. The pods are long, flat, velvety green in color with raised marks from the oval seeds inside.
This is a bush bean that is great for Italian dishes and has a meaty texture.

This bush bean is an early-fruiting (within 50 days) Italian heirloom that produces stringless pods. The pods are perfect for fresh eating, freezing, or canning. Plants don’t grow much taller than 16 to 18 inches, making them wonderful for container gardens.

If you have tons of pods, freeze them to enjoy later. You won’t want to skip the rich flavor of the 5 to 6 inch pods in the off-season. An early yield makes them easy in areas where the heat comes on at the beginning of summer.


Top view, close-up of bean pods on a round wooden stand, next to another tied bunch of beans on burlap. The pods are long, slightly plump, narrow, curved, with a pale green shell.
Desperado beans are a green bush bean that is resistant to many diseases.

Super sweet dark green pods are produced by this plant. Thanks to slow-to-develop seeds, the beans have more time to produce sugars and flavonoids. This gives them an unmatched flavor! The densely clustered sets of blooms fade and grow to less than 6 inch beans.

The smaller stature of the plant goes well in interlpantings and container gardens. Even in hot summers, you’ll notice Desperado continues to produce. Drought and heat aren’t an issue either.  


Close-up of many ripe mascotte bean pods. The pods are elongated-cylindrical, straight, with a smooth green shell.
Mascotte beans are dwarf French beans that are ideal for small gardens and containers.

An All-American Selections winner, this variety produces 5 inch round, extra fine, stringless pods. This productive 20 inch tall dwarf plant is perfect for window boxes, pots, patios, and the small space garden. What’s so interesting about these seemingly regular looking beans is they grow above the foliage, for easy access.

The French name, Mascotte translates to “mascot” in English. We can attribute this name to the variety’s adaptability in the garden. You’re sure to yield lots of green beans when you grow it.

Fordhook No. 242

Close-up of the ripening pods of a Fordhook no. 242 in the garden. The pods are small, light green, smooth and straight, up to 6-8 inches long.
Fordhook No. 242 beans are a type of lima bean that is large and meaty with a buttery flavor.

These lima beans, also referred to as butterbeans, are heat-resistant and thrive in adverse conditions. You should expect a nutty flavor profile from the 4 inch pods full of white beans. These will develop even in very hot conditions.

The standard of the lima bean varieties, Fordhook No. 242 takes longer to mature than others we’ve discussed up to this point, at roughly 80 days. However, because the plant will still produce in hot areas, you may not even notice the long maturation period.

White Half Runner

A close-up of harvested White Half Runner bean pods in a beautiful wicker basket with a sign with the name of the bean variety on the counter. The pods are slightly elongated, narrow, straight, pale green in color.
White Half Runner beans are a white snap bean that is tender, sweet, and versatile.

This runner bean is an heirloom classic that produces small 4 inch green pods with white beans with a delicious, sweet flavor. They’re perfect for canning and freezing if you have a particularly productive plant. They can also be dried and stored long-term.

This crop produces early, and provides abundant harvests. With plants that grow no more than 2 feet tall, you’ll have beans in just a couple of months.


Close-up of many pods of ripe Fortex beans under sunlight. The pods are long, narrow, cylindrical, glossy green.
Fortex beans are a gourmet French bean that is long and slender with a crisp texture.

This is a stringless French variety that is mildly sweet, meaty, and savory. They are best picked between 6 to 11 inches long. For thinner beans, harvest at about 6 inches. These are excellent for fine dining, as their delicacy and flavor is prized among other beans.

While the flavor of standard beans, like Provider may be nutty, this one maintains its sweetness for some time. You’ll want to harvest often so you don’t have beans drying on the vine (unless that’s what you want!).

Yardlong Asparagus Bean

Close-up of a Yardlong Asparagus Bean bush in the garden. The bush is lush, vertical, has large wide dark green lobed leaves with smooth edges. The pods are long, narrow, pale green in color with oval seeds inside.
Yardlong Asparagus beans are a type of Asian bean that is long and slender with a nutty flavor.

This heirloom variety produces 18 inch-long slender pods that are delicious steamed or sauteed. They also have no serious pest or disease issues. If you can keep up with the prolific nature of these plants, you’ll have tons of delicious beans you can eat within 80 days.

The vines of these plants are long, too, growing up to 108 feet in just one season. Originating in Asia, yardlong beans can withstand high heat and humidity with very little mildew contact.

King of The Garden

A close-up of a bush of ripening King of The Garden beans. Beans have medium, green and slightly curved pods. The pods have a round cross-section and contain 3-6 white or cream-colored seeds.
King of The Garden beans are a pole bean that is meaty and has a rich flavor.

These lima beans (or butter beans) thrive in heat and humidity with very little pest and disease issues. This is a super productive climbing pole variety that produces starkly white beans. The vines are relatively short for pole varieties, topping out at 10 feet.

King of the Garden is an heirloom variety from 1883, introduced to the world from Frank S. Platt, a well known purveyor of seeds and seed catalogs. This cultivar is wonderful in container gardens.  

Dragon’s Tongue

Close-up of a bunch of ripe Dragon's Tongue bean pods on burlap. Pods are elongated, narrow, slightly curved, have a strong yellowish shell with abundant purple marks and stripes.
Dragon’s Tongue beans are a yellow and purple snap bean that is sweet and tender.

This Dutch wax bean produces cream-colored pods with vivid purple mottling that fades when the beans are cooked. The pods are stringless and wide. This bush variety is great for those looking to save space, as the plants grow no larger than 30 inches tall.

Dragon’s Tongue is a well-known flavorful heirloom that was developed in the 19th century. It’s a favorite among culinary gardeners due to its rich flavor. The compact plants are plentiful for seasoned and new gardeners alike.

Rattlesnake Snap

Close-up of a bunch of ripe Rattlesnake Snap beans in a metal bowl on a white wooden table with large dark green bean leaves. Pods are long, cylindrical, curved, green in color with purple markings.
Rattlesnake Snap beans are a green and purple pole bean that is tender and flavorful.

Also known as Preacher bean, this variety produces dark green pods streaked with purple. The seeds are light in color and splashed with dark brown, resembling a Rattlesnake’s coloration. This pole variety grows vigorously and can reach up to 10 feet!

This is a stringless variety with good resistance to drought. It prefers sandy soil, needing excellent drainage. But it does well in hot humid areas in the subtropics and tropical regions of the world. Particularly in coastal ranges, this plant thrives.  

Winged Bean

Close-up of a Winged Bean bush in the garden. Winged Bean is a tropical vine that produces long, thin and slightly curved green colored pods that have four distinct longitudinal ridges or "wings" that run the entire length of the pod.
Winged beans are a tropical bean that is winged and has a nutty flavor.

This variety gets its name from the 4 “wings” that run down the length of the pod. Winged beans can be left to mature or can be eaten as young tender pods. Cook them, and their pods become soft and supple, unlike other beans which take on a fibrous consistency.

Many varieties of winged beans can reach up to 12 inches long. These beans hail from Papua New Guinea, from long before peoples there made contact with colonial forces. Gardeners in tropical climates can enjoy a long season of winged bean harvests.

Mung Bean

Close-up of Mung Bean bushes in a sunny garden. The bushes have large, wide, heart-shaped dark green leaves and clusters of long thin pods covered with a green shell.
Mung beans are a small Asian bean that is versatile and high in protein.

These popular beans are generally germinated in bulk and eaten as sprouts. However, you can plant and grow them just like any other bean. They are delicious when eaten fresh! Although they can also be left to dry and then used for sprouting. 

They take longer to harvest than other varieties, with pods ready for picking at about 100 days. As a native of India and other parts of East Asia, the plants prefer tropical and subtropical climates. Out of the entire US, Oklahoma is the state that grows mung beans most.

Dried Beans

These beans are an excellent choice if you’re looking for shelf life and storage ability. They are usually cooked in soups, stews, and other hearty dishes. Most of them, of course, can also be eaten fresh! But are usually grown for their properties as dried beans. 

You can leave some of these to dry on the vine, or remove them and put them in a climate controlled area for dehydrating. Whichever you choose, you’re going to love the end result.

California Blackeye #5

Close-up of many dry seeds of California Blackeye #5 beans on a white background. The seeds are small, oval in shape, beige in color with a characteristic black spot or "eye" at one end.
California Blackeye #5 beans are a southern favorite with a creamy texture and mild flavor.

A home gardener favorite and Southern staple, the large, smooth seed of California Blackeye #5 Bush Cowpeas is well suited for drying. Although, the peas can also be eaten fresh, and the tender young pods can be eaten whole. 

Like other beans if its kind, this variety loves heat and humidity. Southern gardeners can rely on California Buckeye, and so can those with unseasonably warm summers. With beans that are produced at the top of the plant, easy harvests are the name of the game.

Scarlet Emperor

Close-up of several dried Scarlet Emperor bean seeds and bean pods on a white background. The Scarlet Emperor bean is a shoot cultivar that produces large, dark red or burgundy dry seeds that are kidney-shaped and slightly flattened. They have a smooth, hard outer shell with an interesting pattern of purple streaks.
Scarlet Emperor beans are pole beans with bright red flowers and a rich flavor.

This runner bean variety produces brilliant, rich-red flowers and is considered both ornamental and edible. The flowers of Scarlet Emperor Pole Runner Beans attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. Its sweet tasty pods can be eaten fresh or left to dry. 

Young Scarlet Emperor beans are highly flavorful and beloved by culinary experts. Mature beans on the other hand make awesome candidates for drying. Plant multiple plants along a Florida weave for a wall of gorgeous crimson blooms.

Arikara Yellow

Close-up of a woman's hand pouring dry Arikara Yellow bean seeds onto a dark brown table. The seeds are small, oval in shape, light beige in color with a characteristic brown-white eye on one side.
Arikara Yellow beans are a drought-tolerant Native American heirloom bean with a buttery flavor.

These seeds were originally obtained from the Arikara peoples of North Dakota and then introduced commercially in 1914. They produce yellow-tan seeds with red-brown eye rings. They have good drought tolerance and are great for drying for long-term storage. 

In the kitchen, this bean is a star when baked. Braised with olive oil and rosemary, the beans are unforgettable. If you are looking for a bush bean with container capabilities and a shorter habit (up to 2 feet tall), Arikara Yellow is for you!


Close-up of a heap of dry Calypso bean seeds. The seeds are small, oval in shape and slightly flattened. Seeds are white with black spots.
Calypso beans are black and white beans with a creamy texture and nutty flavor.

This variety is commonly called “yin-yang” and is hails from the Caribbean. This is one among those perfect beans for baking and soup-making. The seeds are round, black and white, and with a white eye. The plants are adaptable to multiple climates, both hot and cool.

Within 90 days you can enjoy a harvest of these interesting beans, which can even be eaten fresh as green beans in early stages. These small 15 inch tall plants are container ready, or can be planted among companions.  

Lina Sisco’s Bird Egg

Close-up of a bunch of dry Lina Sisco's Bird Egg bean seeds. The seeds are oval, small, reminiscent of bird eggs. They are creamy white in color with brown flecks and stripes, giving them a mottled appearance.
Lina Sisco’s Bird Egg beans are an heirloom variety with a speckled appearance and a delicate flavor.

This family heirloom was brought to Missouri in a covered wagon in the 1880s by relatives of the founding members of the Seed Saver’s Exchange. It produces large, tan beans with maroon markings and is primarily used as a dried bean. 

As a drying bean, you can bet the flavor of Bird Egg works amazingly in soups and casseroles. Some even can them. The plants are fairly small, reaching 2 feet at most. This means outdoor gardeners of all kinds can cultivate them.

Painted Pony

Close-up of Painted Pony Dry Bean Seeds. Painted Pony beans produce dry seeds that are medium in size, oval in shape and slightly flattened. They are light brown in color with dark brown markings reminiscent of pony markings.
Painted Pony beans are a colorful and versatile bean with a creamy texture.

This dual-purpose bean is both delicious when eaten as young tender pods, as well as matured and used as a dried bean. The beans are brown and white, and they keep their markings in cooking. Wait 60 days for snap beans and 80 days for dry beans.

Painted Pony beans are excellent for soups, and the pods are tasty when chopped and added to salads. At a shorter height of 1.5 feet maximum, container gardens are superb growing environments.

Tiger’s Eye

Close-up of dry Tiger's Eye bean seeds on a white background. Tiger's eye beans produce medium to large dry seeds that are oval in shape and slightly flattened. The seeds are creamy beige with reddish brown streaks resembling tiger eye markings.
Tiger’s Eye beans are a yellow and brown bean with a meaty texture and rich flavor.

Originally from Chile and Argentina, this variety is great for chili or refried beans. It produces tan beans with dark brown markings. In South America where they’re grown, they are called “pepa de zapallo”, which translates to pumpkin seeds. This is a testament to their appearance.

The flavor of the beans is starchy, and akin to a potato. The plants have a medium-range height, topping out at 3 feet. Therefore, they grow well on both sunny patios and in larger rows — and everything in between!

Henderson Bush

Green bean pod is growing on a branch in the garden. The plant is in the sunlight and the leaves around it are green.
Henderson Bush beans are a classic green bean with a crisp texture and a sweet flavor.

Also known as Dwaf Sieva, this variety was introduced in 1889 by Peter Henderson Company in New York. These dwarf lima beans are hardy, productive, and disease resistant. The creamy white beans are perfect for canning or drying. 

Just as other limas do, this plant loves heat and humidity. No more than 2 feet tall, you’re able to grow Henderson Bush beans almost anywhere, as long as conditions are warm and sunny enough. Expect a high yield from this variety!


White beans are sitting in a brown ceramic bowl on a wooden countertop.
Sieva beans are a southern heirloom that is easy to grow and has a meaty texture.

Also called Small White or Carolina, this is a pole lima bean that has been popular for hundreds of years. Dark green 9 to 10 foot vines climb vigorously. They have a delicious butter bean flavor and can be dried for storage. 

Sieva beans love heat! They can handle arid weather as well, as evidenced by their origins in the Andes mountains. The lush green foliage is covered in delicate white flowers just before production begins. Southern gardeners will have lots to harvest with this cultivar.


Brown beans that are mixed in color with a light skin and darker colored spots all over the beans themselves. A black discolored bean sits in the center of the grouping.
Agate beans are a maroon and white bean that is versatile and great for soups and stews.

This very rare soybean can be eaten both fresh as edamame or dried for storage. The pods contain small olive-green seeds with brown saddles. They were originally collected by the USDA in 1929 in Sapporo, Japan. 

You can expect lush, full harvests from the up to 2 foot tall plants. Grow them in containers, raised beds, or in the ground, and you’ll have plenty of beans. With just over 2 months to harvest, it’s well worth the wait.


Green beans that are exposed in their pods sitting on a white countertop.
Fiskeby beans are a Swedish heirloom that is creamy and nutty in flavor.

Bred by the late Dr. Sven Holmberg in Friskeby, Sweden, this soybean is excellent eaten as edamame and can be enjoyed dried or fresh. This early maturing variety thrives in northern climates where temperatures are cooler.

Southern gardeners may want to skip this one, as it doesn’t do as well in heat. But those with temperate summers can enjoy harvests in roughly 1.5 months. The creamy texture and nutty flavor of these soybeans can’t be beat.  

Painted Lady Improved

Light tan beans are sitting on a white counter with black coloring mixed into the light tan outer shells. They are not yet cooked.
Painted Lady Improved beans are a colorful bean that is great for salads and soups.

This pole bean produces beautiful bicolored red and white blossoms that are very attractive to hummingbirds and moths. It is also known as Bicolor Runner and Painted Runner. It is less affected by warmer temperatures than other runner beans. 

Vines of this cultivar climb up to 10 feet, and work well as a wall of pollinator lure! Much like the Emperor Scarlet Runner, you’ve got multiple benefits from planting this one. The beans are tasty too.

Sunset Runner

LIght red beans with black spots and larger black coloring sections spread across the red outer layer. The beans are not yet cooked.
Sunset Runner beans are a runner bean with orange flowers and a meaty texture.

This is one of the oldest runner beans in existence, as it was already well-known in 1735 and listed in America as early as 1806. Small snap pods or green shell beans can substitute for lima beans in cooler climates. 

The vines of Sunset runner are aggressive in the right environments. They are, in turn, highly productive, blooming tons of whitish-pink flowers in summer. Just like the other red-pigmented blooms, these attract pollinators. Create a wall of them in your garden next to your other veggie plants for maximum yields all around!

Bolita Beans

Light red bolitas have tan and red outer shells. They sit in a large pile and the image focuses on the shells up close.
Bolita Beans are a small, oval-shaped bean that is great for chili and refried beans.

Bolitas are known for being sweeter, richer, and easier on the stomach than pinto beans. They were brought to Northern New Mexico and Colorado by the Spanish and adapted to high elevations. 

This crop is perfect for hot, arid areas, particularly in the southwest portions of the US. Due to its deep root system, the plant can withstand periods of drought after it is well-established. They take a little longer to develop due to the conditions they’re used to growing in, and are ready in about 100 days.

Good Mother Stallard

White and Red Good Mother Stallard legumes sitting in a pile the Legumes have dark brown shells with some white coloring on each of them.
Good Mother Stallard beans are a large and meaty bean with a nutty flavor.

The Good Mother Stallard variety produces gorgeous maroon and white beans that are delicious in baked bean dishes. This heirloom has been growing for generations, and is considered one of the most productive pole bean varieties. The beans are best for shelling or for cooking.

The long vines of this plant need a sturdy trellis for productivity, especially if you live in a region with somewhat temperate summers where they thrive. They may slow production in the heat, though. Some shade may benefit those planted in hot areas.

Pinto Garden Bean

A closeup of a long red and white pod bean sitting on a wooden table. The bean is open, and seven beans are exposed in the pod. Two additional legumes sit outside the pod with red and white shells.
This type of bean is a bush bean with a meaty texture and a mild flavor.

Pinto beans are perfect for frijoles, burritos, and refried beans. This bean is excellent for drying and long-term storage. The small tan beans are well-known and widely used in many Mexican dishes. 

Expect to grow semi-compact plants that run ever so slightly. Therefore if you’re working in containers, you may need to provide a little support. You don’t have to dry these and cook them later. The young green beans can be eaten raw right off the vine.

Light Red Kidney Bean

Light red kidney beans sit in a pile on together. They are not yet cooked, and the image is a closeup that shows their standard color outer shells.
These popular beans are light red kidney-shaped beans that have many uses.

Light Red Kidney Beans are highly recognizable on store shelves. They have a mild bean flavor and are perfect for chili, bean salads, and soups. The plants for these beans are pretty small too, and do well in containers placed in lots of sunlight.

At about 90 days to maturity, you may have to wait until later in the season. But being able to incorporate them into your favorite soups and chilis is worth it. These are great for growing in parts of the Northeast US, were summers don’t typically rise above 90°F (32°C).

Silver Cloud Cannellini

White beans sitting in a wooden bowl on a concrete table.
Silver Cloud Cannellini beans are an Italian bean that is creamy and delicate in flavor.

An improved Cannellini bean with a meaty texture and dense, nutty flavor. These Cannellini beans make great shelling and cooking beans that can be dried for storage. The pods are green with bright pink streaking, adding a dash of texture to your warm weather season.

Instead of growing 8 beans inside the pod, like regular Cannellinis, there are 5 to 6 plump beans that mature within. Throw dried beans into minestrone, soups, and stews to soak up that delicious flavor for the rest of the year.

Vermont Cranberry Bean

Close up of legumes that have a light pink and red outer shell. They somewhat resemble a cranberry, hence the name.
Vermont Cranberry beans are cranberry-colored beans that are great for soups and stews.

Also known as Borlotti beans, Roman, and Saluggia beans, Cranberry beans are small, round, and red like cranberries. This variety produces pods that are pinkish-red, reliable, hardy, and easy to shell. The beans inside the pod look similar to the pod itself, sans the green.

Those with cooler, shorter seasons are sure to have success with Vermont cranberry beans. They’ve been grown this way since the 1800s, after all. Plants don’t get more than 2 feet tall, and the versatility of the fruit as snap peas, shelling beans, or dry beans adds to their desirability.

Kabouli Black

Dark hard black beans sitting in a wooden bowl against a white background. The legumes appear dry, and are not yet cooked.
Kabouli Black beans are large and meaty beans with a nutty flavor.

This plant produces black garbanzo beans, and is an ancient heirloom variety that has been passed down for ages since it was grown in its original homeland of Afghanistan. It starts well in cool weather, and production slows down in the heat. Therefore, hot weather gardeners should start these as soon as soil can be worked in spring.

Gardeners with a short season may enjoy the smoky flavor of these beans as fall comes on. At 2 feet tall, even patio gardeners can grow some of their own. You can enjoy these garbanzos just as you would the usual kind. The flavor will be slightly more complex, but oh, so good.


Bright red legumes close up are photographed close together. Many of them are split, and appear somewhat moist.
Dainagon beans are a Japanese bean that is versatile and has a nutty flavor.

These adzuki beans are widely grown in Kyoto, Japan. This heirloom variety is used for desserts as red bean paste. To make the paste, the beans are boiled, mashed, and sweetened with sugar. They can also be dried and stored for future use. 

If you don’t have a sweet tooth for red bean ice cream (like I do), the beans are great when they’re used in savory dishes too. Another 2 foot tall variety, lovers of this storied bean can grow them regardless of the space.

Lazy Housewife

White legumes rest on a large wooden spoon that sits on a wooden table. Unharvested green pods appear in the background.
Lazy Housewife beans are a bush bean that is easy to grow and has a meaty texture.

This heirloom variety was first introduced in 1888 and is native to Pennsylvania. It produces 5 inch green pods with white beans inside. It’s a vigorous climber, reaching 8 to 9 feet tall, which means you’ll need a good support to keep them happy.

The plants of these beloved beans are adapted to both cool and warm summers, growing well in the north and south. The plants may be tall-growing, but large containers can house them easily as long as they have a trellis. The pods are 4 to 5 inches, and contain about 5 beans each.

Great Northern

White beans pouring out of a glass container onto a white wooden table.
Great Northern beans are a large white bean that is great for soups and stews.

This heirloom variety is perfect for drying. The plants produce flat 5 inch green pods that contain white beans. These semi-vining plants are more compact than other pole varieties that can take up quite a bit of space. Yours should top out at about 2 feet.

The Great Northern was originally cultivated by the Mandan people in the Dakotas. Most of the time, the beans are dried and cooked or baked. Green beans can be eaten off the vine. This is a bean that is well suited to the seasons of the Northern US, as its name suggests.

Black Turtle

Black beans photographed close up together, sitting in a pile with a stainless steel scoop that controls them.
Black Turtle beans are a small black bean that is high in protein and great for chili and salads.

These compact bush plants produce dark purple-black beans and are widely grown and used culinarily throughout Latin America. This variety contains a high concentration of anthocyanin too, as evidenced by their black color! 

These black beans can successfully be grown in warm and cool summers, and growing in containers is an option. This is probably due to the history of the bean. Many strains were originally cultivated in Mexico, and then brought to the Northern US and hardened off to the cool summers there.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know all the different types of beans you can plant this season, the next step is picking the ones you think will grow best in your region! Each of these beans is well suited for growing in the home garden, so find the one that suits your hardiness zone best and give them a try this season!

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