Classificazione scientifica del
Dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris Linnaeus, 1753)
Scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus Linnaeus, 1753)
Lima bean(Phaseolus lunatus Linnaeus, 1753)
Tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray)
Dominium/SuperKingdom: Eucariota Chatton, 1925
Regnum/Kingdom: Plantae Haeckel, 1866
Subregnum/SubKingdom: Viridaeplantae Cavalier-Smith, 1998 (Piante verdi)
Superdivisio/Superdivision: Spermatophyta Gustav Hegi, 1906 (Piante con semi)
Divisio/Division o Phylum: Tracheobionta o Tracheophyta Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
Subdivisio/Subdivision: Magnoliophytina Frohne & U. Jensen ex Reveal, 1996
Classis/Classe: Rosopsida Batsch, 1788
Subclassis/Subclass: Rosidae Takht., 1967
SuperOrdo/Superorder: Fabanae R. Dahlgren ex Reveal, 1993
Ordo/Order: Fabales Bromhead, 1838
Familia/Family: Fabaceae (Rchb., 1832) Lindley, 1836 o Leguminosae A.L. de Jussieu, 1789 o Papilionaceae Giseke, 1792
Subfamilia/Subfamily: Phaseoloideae Burnett, 1835 o Papilionoideae (Giseke, 1792) DC., 1825
Tribus/Tribe: Phaseoleae DC., 1835
Subtribus/Subtribe: Phaseolinae Bronn, 1822
Genus: Phaseolus Linnaeus, 1753
Phaseolus vulgaris Linnaeus, 1753 – Dry bean
Phaseolus coccineus Linnaeus, 1753 – Scarlet run bean
Phaseolus lunatus Linnaeus, 1753 – Lima bean
Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray, – Tepary bean

Taxonomy of Dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris Linnaeus, 1753)
Taxonomy of Scarlet run bean (Phaseolus coccineus Linnaeus, 1753)
Taxonomy of Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus Linnaeus, 1753)
Taxonomy of tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray, )
Clade: Biota
Clade: Eucariota Chatton, 1925
Clade: Archaeplastida Sina M. Adl, 2005
Clade: Chloroplastida Sina M. Adl, 2005
Clade: Charophyta Karol et al., 2001
Clade: Streptophytina Lewis & McCourt, 2004
Clade: Plantae Haeckel, 1866
Clade: Polysporangiophyta
Clade: Tracheobionta o Tracheophyta Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - piante vascolari
Clade: Euphyllophyta
Clade: Lignophyta
Clade: Spermatophyta
Clade: Angiospermae
Clade: Eudicotyledonae M.J. Donoghue, J.A. Doyle & P.D. Cantino, 2007
Clade: Core Eudicots
Clade: Rosidae
Clade: Eurosidae I
Ordo/Order: Fabales Bromhead, 1838
Familia/Family: Fabaceae (Rchb., 1832) Lindley, 1836 o Leguminosae A.L. de Jussieu, 1789 o Papilionaceae Giseke, 1792
Subfamilia/Subfamily: Phaseoloideae Burnett, 1835 o Papilionoideae (Giseke, 1792) DC., 1825
Tribus/Tribe: Phaseoleae DC., 1835
Subtribus/Subtribe: Phaseolinae Bronn, 1822
Genus: Phaseolus Linnaeus, 1753
Phaseolus vulgaris Linnaeus, 1753 – Dry bean
Phaseolus coccineus Linnaeus, 1753 – Scarlet run bean
Phaseolus lunatus Linnaeus, 1753 – Lima bean
Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray, – Tepary bean

Dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)

The names of the bean, Phaseolus vulgaris for different countries are:

Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae (alternately Leguminosae) used for human food or animal feed.
The whole young pods of bean plants, if picked before the pods ripen and dry, are very tender and may be eaten cooked or raw. Thus the term "green beans" means "green" in the sense of unripe (many are in fact not green in color). In some cases the beans inside the pods of green beans are too small to comprise a significant part of the cooked fruit.
The term "bean" originally referred to the seed of the broad bean, but was later expanded to include members of the genus Phaseolus, such as the common bean and the runner bean, and the related genus Vigna. The term is now applied in a general way to many other related plants such as soybeans, peas, lentils, chickpeas (garbanzos), vetches, and lupins.
"Bean" can be used as a near-synonym of "pulse", an edible legume, though the term "pulses" is usually reserved for leguminous crops harvested for their dry grain and usually excludes crops mainly used for oil extraction (like soybeans and peanuts) or those used exclusively for sowing purposes (such as clover and alfalfa).
Leguminous crops harvested green for food, such as snap peas, snow peas, etc., are classified as vegetable crops.
In English usage, the word "beans" is also sometimes used to mean the seeds or pods of plants that are not in the family Leguminosae, but which bear a superficial resemblance to true beans, for example coffee beans, castor beans and cocoa beans (which resemble bean seeds), and vanilla beans (which resemble the pods).
Beans are one of the longest-cultivated plants. Broad beans, with seeds the size of the small fingernail, were gathered in their wild state in Afghanistan and the Himalayan foothills. In a form improved from naturally occurring types, they were already being grown in Thailand since the early seventh millennium BC, predating ceramics.
They were deposited with the dead in ancient Egypt. Not until the second millennium BC did cultivated, large-seeded broad beans appear in the Aegean, Iberia and transalpine Europe.
In the Iliad (late 8th century) is a passing mention of beans and chickpeas cast on the threshing floor. The oldest-known domesticated beans in the Americas were found in Guitarrero Cave, an archaeological site in Peru, and dated to around the second millennium BCE.
Beans were an important source of protein throughout Old and New World history, and still are today. There are over 4,000 cultivars of bean on record in the United States alone. An interesting modern example of the diversity of bean use is the modern urban recipe 15 bean soup, which, as the name implies, contains literally fifteen different varieties of bean.
Most of the kinds commonly eaten fresh come from the Americas, being first seen by a European when Christopher Columbus, during his exploration, of what may have been the Bahamas, found them being grown in fields. Five kinds of Phaseolus beans were domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples: common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) grown from Chile to the northern part of what is now the United States, and lima and sieva beans (Phaseolus lunatus), as well as the less widely distributed teparies (Phaseolus acutifolius), scarlet runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus) and polyanthus beans (Phaseolus polyanthus). One especially famous use of beans by pre-Columbian people as far north as the Atlantic seaboard is the "Three Sisters" method of companion plant cultivation: Dry beans come from both Old World varieties of broad beans (fava beans) and New World varieties (kidney, black, cranberry, pinto, navy/haricot).
Some kinds of raw beans and especially red and kidney beans, contain a harmful toxin (the lectin Phytohaemagglutinin) that must be destroyed by cooking. A recommended method is to boil the beans for at least ten minutes; undercooked beans may be more toxic than raw beans.Cooking beans in a slow cooker, because of the lower temperatures often used, may not destroy toxins even though the beans do not smell or taste “bad” (though this should not be a problem if the food reaches boiling and stays there for some time).
Fermentation is used in some parts of Africa to improve the nutritional value of beans by removing toxins. Inexpensive fermentation improves the nutritional impact of flour from dry beans and improves digestibility, according to research co-authored by Emire Shimelis, from the Food Engineering Program at Addis Ababa University. Beans are a major source of dietary protein in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Beans have significant amounts of fiber and soluble fiber, with one cup of cooked beans providing between nine to thirteen grams of fiber.[10] Soluble fiber can help lower blood cholesterol.
Beans are also high in protein, complex carbohydrates, folate, and iron.
Many edible beans, including broad beans and soybeans, contain oligosaccharides (particularly raffinose and stachyose), a type of sugar molecule also found in cabbage. An anti-oligosaccharide enzyme is necessary to properly digest these sugar molecules. As a normal human digestive tract does not contain any anti-oligosaccharide enzymes, consumed oligosaccharides are typically digested by bacteria in the large intestine. This digestion process produces flatulence-causing gases as product.
Some species of mold produce alpha-galactosidase, an anti-oligosaccharide enzyme, which humans can take to facilitate digestion of oligosaccharides in the small intestine. This enzyme, currently sold in the United States under the brand-name Beano, can be added to food or consumed separately. In many cuisines beans are cooked along with natural carminatives such as anise seeds, coriander seeds and cumin.
Other strategies include soaking beans in water for several hours before mixing them with other ingredients to remove the offending sugars. Sometimes vinegar is added, but only after the beans are cooked as vinegar interferes with the beans' softening.
Fermented beans will usually not produce most of the intestinal problems that unfermented beans will, since yeast can consume the offending sugars.
The world leader in production of dry bean is Brazil, followed by India and then China. In Europe, the most important producer is Germany.

Table 1 – Surface expressed in ectars (ha), quantity of production of bean dry in tons (t), value of the production noticed in thousands of dollars ($1000), yields, expressed in tons per ectar (t/ha), for the main Countries of the world (FAO, 2009).
Country Surface (ha) Production Yield (t/ha)
Quantity (t) Value ($1000)
United States of America
Viet Nan

Studies carried out at the Centre of Vegetable Crops
Between the infestations that interest the bean we remember that caused by mites of the species Tetranychus urticae Koch. The mites (the arthropods like the insects) belong to the class of the Arachnidan. Long about 0.1 mm, without tows and antennas, with head, thorax and abdomen fused, they are characterized by full development four pairs of legs and three in the juvenile stages (make exception the eriophyids that they have always two pairs). With the stilettos of which it is supplied the oral apparatus (kind pungent-sucker) they perforate the epidermis of the organs vegetables sucking the cellular content (and often introducing also it toxic spittle). From the egg a larva leaks (except that in the eriophyids) to which they make followed two successive ones active nynfal stages (in the families of the tetranychidae and eriophyids) or a pupa (in the family of the tarsonemids), that they will give the adult then. To the Tetranichidae family they belong various species of economic importance.
They are mites that can reproduce by anfigonia (therefore with the contribution of the two seies), giving eggs that will produce or males who females, or for parthenogenesis (by means of females not fertilized), giving but origin only to males. From the egg a larva leaks to which they follow two nynfal stages that they carry the adult; to these active stages (responsible of the damages) they are alternated also of the immovable and inactive stages. The Tetranychus urticae Koch (mite red) is perhaps most common between the acarus of agrarian interest, being in a position to infesting great a number of plants. The hit leaves they assume a characteristic rusty yellow aspect, stretching later on to roll up them and to cover themselves of thinnest spider's web. The dry of the leaves is reflected on the production that endures forts reductions. They can be hit or the sour fruits that those in via of maturation and the gravity of the attacks is emphasized from the elevated number of generations that, in southern atmospheres, it arrives to 10-15 and in the greenhouses till a some thirty. The warmth and the insufficient precipitations they favour this parasite, like pure the chemical processing with not selective products. The greater damages they are had at the height of summer of usual when the infestations catch up the maximum virulence. In the years in which the searches have been carried out, near the Centre for l' Vegetable Crops (1993-1994) mite red, facilitate from the exceptional duration of the high temperatures, it has infested heavy the overwhelming majority of the vegetable cultivations, with massive attacks above all to the Solanaceae in greenhouse. From translucent and smooth eggs, spherical, yellow- rose-coloured, (figure 4), leaks the larval forms (recognizable for having only three seem of legs) that in short time is transformed in nymphs (with eight legs) of yellow colour with a brace of dark spots ridges (figure 3 and figure 4). The adult forms of these mites are characterized from a great sexual dimorphism: the males are more little ones and soaring, of yellow colour, while the females are corpulente and tawny- reddish. The females of the last winter generations (of uniform colour orange) spend the winter hidden on the ground, between the detritus vegetables buckets. In the coastal areas of the southern regions (and in the heated greenhouses) the species can reproduce for all the year without interruption. The defence from the mites is rather difficult for the ability to this species to develop resistance quickly to the chemicals. In protected cultivation a good strategy of fight is in the first place based on participations estimates thesis to eliminate all inside the sources of infestation of the greenhouses: this it can be obtained dealing the fine greenhouses to cultivation with sulphur in powder (that it develops sulphur dioxide). For the chemical control, to the appearance of first hotbed it will be taken part choosing between a discreet acaricide range available in commerce, with various characteristics and times of deficiency. Between these they are from citing: Abamectina, endowed insecticide-acaricide of activity to translaminate, assets against all the stages you furnish. It acts mostly for ingestion. Clofentezine, acaricide only recorded on tomato, equipped of elevated activity against the acarus tetranychidae with action mostly against the eggs. Exitiazox, acts on eggs and the preimaginal stages (larve and nymphs) of acarus tetranychidae. Make also an action sterilizing on the females and is equipped of good selectivity in the comparisons of the fitoseids. Fenazaquin, assets for contact and ingestion, are equipped of action to translaminar and long persistence. It has action against larvae and adults but it has one good activity on the summery eggs of the sort Panonychus. Fenbutatin-oxide, assets on the forms you furnish (larve, nymphs and adults) of acarus tetranychidae and eriophyids. It acts for contact with a long persistence. Fenpyroximate, assets on the forms you furnish (larve, nymphs and adults) of various species of acarus fitofagous tetranychidae, tartarsonemids and eriophyids. It acts for contact with a good pulling down effect and an elevated persistence of action. Propargite, acaricide against larvae and adults, act for detached contact with action pulling down and good persistence. It is an acaricide much valid one for the eggplant that stretches to show sensibility towards other acaricides. Tebufenpirad, assets mostly for ingestion against the forms furnitures (neanids, nymphs and adults) of the acarus tetranychidae and tarsonemids. It is equipped of action translaminare, of good pulling down power and long persistence. In biological cultivation the fight must aim to safeguard above all presence of the acarus predators (in particular of the acarus predators of the family of the fitoseids), also through their spread; the distributions of the Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot they are in a position to effectively limiting the development of T. urticae, thanks also to mobility of the adult who attacks all easily the stages of the fitofago. This activity turns out emphasized more in presence than an elevated igrometric rate (70% U.R.), to obtain also artificially with appropriate spray. Before the transplant it is opportune to inspect plants some in order to eliminate those attacked. In years 1993-1994 it has been put practically a program of resistance search towards infesting acarus the cultivations of bean. They have been put to comparison some species and variety of the sort bean. The adopted methodology and the obtained result synthetically nearby are indicated: Comparison between various leaves of three cv of Phaseolus vulgaris (" Giulia" , " Montalbano" and " Lingot") that they evidence a behaviour differentiated towards the attack of red mites. It comes shown also a leaf of Phaseolus coccineus (the bean of Spain), cv " Venere" , a genetic constitution of our center of Searches, than to the tests has evidenced a complete resistance in the comparisons dell' infesting acarus. The cv " Lingot" it has introduced the greater susceptibility, while " Giulia" and " Montalbano" they have manifested a behaviour intermediate (figure 1). The survey of the mites on the leaves has been carried out quickly, in order to avoid the loss of the forms more furnitures, with reference to areas of test of 1cm ², in whose inside is preceded to the counting of the preimaginal and imaginal forms (figure 2). With of the numerical indices, second an appraisal scale, it has been determined the extension of the discolorations, yellowing and browning, due to the punctures of feeding, and eventual foliar deformations. In figure 3 the adults of Tetranychus can be observed. In figure 4, besides the adult forms the egg presence can be observed also.

Figure 1 - Comparison among leaves of Phaseolus coccineus cv "Venere" and three different cv of Phaseolus vulgaris ("Giulia", "Montalbano" e "Lingot") that shown a behaviour variable towards the attack of Tetranychus urticae. Figure 2 - Observations of the infestation of red mites on leaves by surfaces of control of 1 cm2, where it is noticed the number of nymph (in relation to much fast their mobility) and adults.

Figure 3 - Adults of red mites (Tetranychus urticae). In the photo low it is possible to observe a main nerve of the leaf. Figure 4 - Besides the adult forms, it observes translucent-smooth-spherical-yellow-rosate eggs.

In the experimentation carried out in open field, by the comparison of various types of bean, it can clearly be observed that the cv " clio" it has shown great sensibility to mites attack (figure 5), while the cv " venere" of Phaseolus coccineus has evidenced complete resistance (figure 6). Figure 7 show clearly that the plants of edge of the contiguous plots of " Clio" and " Venere" , in spite of the strait contact, they evidence a clearly opposite behavior, respective of susceptibility and complete resistance. With regard the trials performed in randomizzato block of the varietal comparison, the figure 8, regarding the inferior page of the leaf, show the great number of nymphs of first and second age that is fed stinging the epidermis and removing the lymph.

Figure 5 - The cv "clio" showed great sensibility to attack of the Tetranychus urticae. Figure 6 - La cv "venere" belonging to Pheseolus coccineus showed complete resistance to the attack of the Tetranychus urticae.
Figure 7 - Plants of contiguous plots of " Clio" and " Venere" , in spite of the strait contact, they evidence a clearly opposite behavior, respective of susceptibility and complete resistance. Figure 8 - Brown zone of the inferior-page leaf showing the excrements of the fitofagous, the eggs and the great number of nymphs the first and second age that is fed stinging the epidermis and removing the lymph.

Runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus L.)

The synonyms for this specie are the following:
  • Phaseolus vulgaris L. var. multiflorus (Lam.) Nichols The common names of Runner beans are the following, for different countries:
    • CHINESE: Hong hua cai dou, Hùhng fà choi dáu (Cantonese), Long zhao dou.
    • DANISH: Pralbønne, Pralbønnen.
    • DUTCH: Pronkboon.
    • ENGLISH: Scarlet runner, Scarlet runner bean, Runner bean, Red flowered runner bean, Red flowered vegetable bean, Seven year bean, Perennial bean.
    • FINNISH: Ruusupapu.
    • FRENCH: Haricot d'Espagne.
    • GERMAN: Feuerbohne, Käferbohne, Prunkbohne.
    • GREEK: Φασόλι Ισπανίας , Φασόλι το ισπανικό
    • ITALIAN: Fagiolo di Spagna, Fagiolo rampicante di Spagna, Fagiolo scarlatto.
    • JAPANESE: Beni bana ingen, Hana mame.
    • KOREAN: 홍화채두.
    • PORTUGUESE: Feijão-da-Espanha, Feijão-de-sete-anos, Feijão-escarlate, Feijão-trepador.
    • RUSSIAN: Фасоль яркокрасная Fasol' iarkokrasnaia, Фасоль многоцветковая Fasol' mnogotsvetkovaia, Фасоль огвенно-красная Fasol' ogvenno-krasnaia, Фасоль турецкая Fasol' turetskaia, Турецкие бобы Turetskie boby.
    • SLOVENIAN: Turški fižol.
    • SLOVAKIAN: Fazuľa šarlátová.
    • SPANISH: Ayocote (Central Mexico), Botil (Mexico), Cubá (Costa Rica), Frijol angolano (Cuba), Frijol calentano (Colombia), Frijol chamborote, Ixtapacal (Guatemala), Judía encarnada, Judia escarlata, Judía pinta, Chilipuca, Chamborote, Chomborote, Pallar (Argentina), Piloy (Guatemala), Popayán (Ecuador), Poroto de Espagna (Argentina), Poroto pallar (Argentina), Tukamulil (Mexico).
    • SWEDISH: Rosenböna.

    The species Phaseolus coccineus has been cultivated in the high parts of Mesoamerica for many centuries. In pre-Columbian Mexico. the people of the Anahuac cultivated it extensively and ensured its distribution. Its introduction into southern Colombia (Antioquia and Nariño) and Europe (where it is known as scarlet runner bean and haricot d’Espagne) could have occurred in the seventeenth century before reaching other parts of the world. such as the Ethiopian highlands. It has been found in archaeological remains only in Mexico in Durango and Puebla. and wild only in Tamaulipas. Although archaeological information is very scarce. it could be assumed that its Mexican domestication took place in humid high zones.
    Changes in maize varieties (earlier-maturing and with softer stems) and the use of fertilizers (for example, urea) and herbicides in maize yields led to the gradual abandonment of this crop in eastern Guatemala and in Costa Rica. It is reasonable to suppose that the same is happening in other areas of its cultivation. Because of its ecological niche Phaseolus coccineus has suffered heavy competition from exotic crops with a higher consumption and better market, for instance vetch, broad bean, cabbage, garlic and onion.
  • the cotyledons stay in the ground during germination,
  • the plant is a perennial plant (such as vine) with tuberous roots (though it is usually treated as an annual). This species originated from the mountains of Central America. Most varieties have red flowers and multicolored seeds (though some have white flowers and white seeds), and they are often grown as ornamental plants. The vine can grow to two meters or more in length. The green pods are edible whole before they become fibrous, and the seeds can be used fresh or as dried beans.
    The starchy roots are still eaten by Central American Indians. In the UK, the flowers are often ignored, or treated as an attractive bonus to cultivating the plant for the beans, whereas in the US the scarlet runner is widely grown for its attractive flowers by people who would never think of eating it. The flower is known as a favourite of Hummingbirds.
    A variety named "Judión de la Granja" producing large, white, edible beans is cultivated in San Ildefonso, Spain. It is the basis of a Segovian regional dish also named Judiones de la Granja, in which the beans are mixed with pig's ears, pig's trotters and chorizo, amongst other ingredients.
    Runner beans contain traces of the poisonous lectin, phytohaemagglutinin, found in common beans.
    Phaseolus coccineus subsp. darwinianus is a cultivated subspecies of Phaseolus coccineus, it is commonly referred to as the botil bean in Mexico.
    Phaseolus coccineus has been used in its nuclear area, particularly for its dry or green seeds. The consumption of young seeds enables the crop to be expanded to higher altitudes, since the fleshy root produces a second growth after light frosts (for example in Huehuetenango, Guatemala).
    The root of this legume has medicinal uses in Mexico and the flowers are also eaten. Its gaudy influorescences may be the reason for its recent expansion as an ornamental plant in Europe and the United States.
    The green pod is used as a vegetable in western Europe and the dry seeds (white seeds) are eaten in some traditional dishes.

    Botanical description
    A pluriannual species of great vegetative vigour with stems of several metres (only in a few modern cultivars are there shrubby forms) which emerge from a fleshy root.
    Phaseolus coccineus is easily distinguished by: its large seeds (the weight of 100 seeds is 80 to 170 g and 6 to 12 g for the wild form) and small, narrow, elliptical hilum; and its large influorescences (20 cm and in excess of 20 fruit-bearing stems) with scarlet, white or, more rarely, two-colour flowers. It carries out hypogeal germination, has a fleshy root which is divided and generally fusiform and which allows cotyledonary young shoots to resprout over several consecutive years.
    It flowers 50 days after sowing. with early varieties, or at the start of the rains, and continues to produce flowers over a long period, except in the shrubby varieties.
    In the majority of cases Phaseolus coccineus undergoes cross-pollination. assisted by its extrorse stigma and nectaries and through the action of bees and humming birds. Thus far, it is considered self compatible.

    Ecology and phytogeography
    Phaseolus coccineus tolerates higher precipitations than other species of Phaseolus provided that the soil has good drainage: that is with derivatives of volcanic ash, fine particles, etc. It grows at cooler temperatures than other cultivated species and is generally heliophytic. Although it tolerates mists.
    Its nuclear area extends from Durango to Veracruz and Puebla. In Guatemala.It is traditionally sown on the slopes of the Cuchumatanes range, on the high plateau of Huehuetenango up to Alta Verapaz and Sacatepéquez and in the highest parts of the rest of Central America.
    The wild form of Phaseolus coccineus (although unable to be confirmed as ancestral throughout its distribution) extends from Chihuahua in Mexico to Panama, generally between 1400 and 2800 m in the humid high forest.

    Genetic diversity
    In its wild form, this species displays a great phenotypical variation in its current state of evolution. in contrast with the other wild species of the genus (there is some similarity with Phaseolus augusti of South America). Wild Phaseolus coccineus may be considered to be a complex of several forms, now in active speciation. throughout its distribution range. Some very differentiated forms, such as Phaseolus glabellus, may have become separated, constituting an early form of a group of which it is now difficult to distinguish all the variants.
    Allogamy is frequent in these plants, and the crossing of wild and cultivated forms, which have been displaced by humans, has changed the speciation patterns. Because of its active process of evolution, this species complex is not an easy task for the taxonomist but, by the same token, it offers great potential for the plant improver.
    In addition to a group of four wild forms with scarlet flowers, mention should he made of another four forms with purple flowers. Phaseolus polyanthus is a related species at the boundary of the primary genetic stock of the scarlet runner bean, since in some cases it can be crossed with the later, as in Putumayo, Ecuador or in Imbabura, Colombia. Likewise, Phaseolus vulgaris may he considered to be at the boundary of the primary genetic stock of the scarlet runner bean.
    There are only a few definite cultivars, particularly among the climbers; among the indeterminate shrubby cultivars, "Patol Blanco'' may be mentioned and, among the determinate shrub cultivars, ''Hammond's Dwarf".
    There are risks of genetic erosion in areas where the traditional maize field has been changed, as some parts of Mexico (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla and Veracruz), Guatemala and Costa Rica. Along with maize, the three species of bean (Phaseolus coccineus, Phaseolus polyanthus and Phaseolus vulgaris) and gourds were frequently sown in these areas. In the high plateau of Mexico (Durango, Zacatecas), the recent spread of the kidney bean may displace the "patoles" for reasons of cost.
    Phaseolus coccineus material exists in collections of germplasm, mainly in Chapingo in Mexico (INIFAP), Pullman in the United States (USDA) and Palmira in Colombia (CIAT). The cultivated material has already been collected to a great extent, except in some areas of Guatemala (for example, Quiche), Honduras and Costa Rica. where it may be already too late to make such a collection.
    For the wild material. it is necessary to collect around the great cities of Mesoamerica, particularly in the valley of Mexico, since these areas were a centre of diversity of the Phaseolus coccineus, complex which is very rich in forms. Many areas still remain to be explored, in view of material collected compared with the abundant herbarium material available. The complications involved in handling these forms ex situ mean that they need to he conserved in situ.

    Cultivation practices
    In most of its area Phaseolus coccineus is sown with maize and other varieties or species (Phaseolus vulgaris, Phaseolus polyanthus) following documented practices, since precipitations allow their association. In Durango and Zacatecas (Mexico), under heavy rain conditions it is sown alone, either in widely spaced rows or broadcast. depending on the type of ploughing. Manual harvesting is still common; the pods are gathered and left to dry in the sun before being beaten and the seeds are stored in sacks.
    Estimation of the yield in cultivated herds is difficult, since farmers intercrop P. coccineus with other beans or harvest it periodically. It produces 400 to 1000 kg per hectare in the shrubby forms while, for climbing varieties, the yield can be much higher. In the United Kingdom, for crops with young pods, more than 23 tonnes per hectare have been recorded.

    Prospects for improvement
    The scarlet runner bean has been used on many occasions for improving the common bean but only in very few cases has its own improvement been addressed, although specialists agree on the hardiness of the species against several fungi, bacteria and viruses.
    The delayed production of climbing forms may be considered a limitation. The number of shrubby forms is not sufficiently high (especially of those with white seeds) and several of them have a low yield. Not all colours and seed stocks exist in these varieties, and this is particularly the case with shrubby forms. Floral abscission can at times be considerable - perhaps because of the lack of pollinators - and causes yield losses.
    Many cultivars root easily and can be maintained over several years thanks to their fleshy root. Their large attractive flowers make insect pollination easy (this crop may be assumed to have a positive effect on local entomofauna). A hybrid scarlet runner bean could be developed; however, unlike the kidney bean or the tepary bean, it is not known whether there would be a strong heterosis effect.
    The use of the scarlet runner bean to complement maize in silage deserves investigation since, as well as its fodder value, the plant can limit soil erosion. It may also be useful interspersed in young forest or fruit plantations (to give soil protection, fertilizing value or additional income).
    Because of its type of germination. Phaseolus coccineus is a useful species for fighting the bean fly (Ophiomyia phaseoli) in the highlands of East Africa.

    Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.)

    The Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) is named also by the following synonyms:
    • Phaseolus lunatus L. var. macrocarpus Benth.,
    • Phaseolus lunatus L. (Gran Lima Group),
    • Phaseolus lunatus L. (cultigroup Big Lima),
    • Phaseolus limensis Macf.,
    • Phaseolus lunatus L. f. macrocarpus ,
    • Phaseolus inamoenus L.,
    • Phaseolus lunatus L. var. lunatus L.
    The common manes of the Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus are the following:
    • BURMESE: Htawbat pe, Kal beir kan, Kawl be, Pe bra, Pe byu gyi, Pe gya, Santagu pe, Tim sin, Tunoran.
    • CHINESE: Cai dou (Cantonese Choi dáu ), Mian dou, Li ma dou, Ling dou, Long ya dou, Yu dou.
    • CZECH: Fazol barmský, Fazol měsíční .
    • DANISH: Limabønne, Månebønne, Sukkerbønne.
    • DUTCH: Indische maanboon, Lima-boon.
    • ENGLISH: Large Lima bean, Lima bean, Large white bean, Butter bean (USA), Burma bean, Rangoon bean, Duffin bean, Madagascar bean.
    • FRENCH: Fève créole, Haricot de Lima, Haricot lima à gros grains, Haricot de Madagascar, Haricot du Cap, Pois de 7 ans, Pois de Java, Pois du Cap, Pois souche.
    • GERMAN: Indische Mondbohne, Limabohne, Mondbohne.
    • GREEK: Φασόλια της Λίμας .
    • ITALIAN: Fagiolo del Capo, Fagiolo detto di Lima, Fagiolo di Lima.
    • JAPANESE: Rai mame (lai mame), Aoi mame.
    • KOREAN: 리마콩.
    • MALAY: Kacang China, Kacang Jawa, Kacang kara, Kacang s'ringing, Kekara (Indonesia), Koro legi (Indonesia), Kratok (Indonesia).
    • PORTUGUESE: Feijão-de-Lima, Feijão-fava (Brazil).
    • RUSSIAN: Фасоль лима Fasol' lima, Фасоль лимская Fasol' limskaia, Фасоль лунообразная Fasol' lunoobraznaia, Фасоль луновидная лима Fasol' lunovidnaia lima, Лимская фасоль Limskaia fasol’, Лимский фасоль Limskii fasol'.
    • SLOVAKIAN: Fazuľa mesiacovitá .
    • SPANISH: Alubia de Lima, Chilipuca (Honduras), Chilipuco (Honduras), Fríjol chilipuca (Honduras) , Frijol de Lima, Frijol de luna, Frijol lima, Frijol manteca (Argentina), Frijol mantequilla, Fríjol reina (Honduras), Frijol viterra (Honduras), Garrofó, Haba pallar (Ecuador), Judía de Lima, Judía de manteca, Judía Limeña (Honduras), Lima, Layo (Peru), Palato (Bolivia), Pallar (Peru), Poroto manteca (Argentina), Torta (Colombia).
    • THAI: ถั่วราชมาษ Thua rachamat.

    Archaeological findings in Ancash, Peru, indicate that, after Lagenaria siceraria, the large-seed species were among the first to be cultivated (8 000 years ago), while the small-seed materials in Mesoamerica date back only 1 200 years. The large-seed material appeared 5 000 years ago on the coast of Peru, where they were of great nutritional and cultural value, particularly for the Mochican and Nazca peoples. Distribution of the wild form on the northern range (electrophoresis test results show that it is the ancestor of the Andean stock) suggests that domestication took place in this area and that it expanded towards the high parts of Ecuador and Colombia as well as towards the Peruvian coast and other high parts of Peru and Bolivia. Nowadays, the green seed in particular is eaten.
    On the Peruvian coast, dulce de pallar, a kind of Lima bean conserve, is prepared from the dry seed. The aesthetic value of the seeds has enabled them to be used in recreation activities in peasant communities. The small-seed cultivars were domesticated from a wild form, possibly in Mesoamerica and in more recent times. The seeds are eaten dry (the Mayans of today prefer them refried) or green. In Asia the young plants or young leaves are consumed; in Madagascar they are used to prepare hay.
    Among the reasons for the present marginalization of Phaseolus lunatus, apart from abandonment of the traditional diet with the rural exodus and changes in peasant customs, we should mention the presence of a cyanogenic glucoside which in some cultivars, if detoxification is omitted, may cause poisoning. Standardization in the consumption of leguminous vegetables (some varieties of common bean or cowpea) has been prejudicial to the Lima bean because of the presence of this glucoside. The small-seed cultivars, particularly under irrigation, suffer from the competition of soybean (and sometimes the cowpea because of its price). In the Peruvian Andes, Lima beans have heavy competition from the introduced lablab, Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet, which is resistant to weevils, and the introduced pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan (L.) Mills, which is more tolerant of drought.

    Botanical description
    Phaseolus lunatus is a pluriannual species (except for a few modern cultivars) with epigeal germination and fibrous roots. Its ancestral forms come from low- or medium-altitude tropical deciduous forests. It is easily distinguished by its half-moon seeds (with the exception of a group of cultivars from the Caribbean that has a spherical seed). It is striated from the hilum and has: deltoid folioles; pseudoracemes with four to 12 fruit-bearing stems; small flowers, with a standard which is greenish (Mesoamerica) or purple (Andes); very small, roundish bracteoles; and smooth, falcate pods with three to six ovules. The two wild forms display marked differences but do not justify differentiated taxonomic treatment because of the considerable introgression among their genetic stocks. It is an autogamous species with an introrse stigma, but cross-pollination may exceed 32%.
    The earliest genotypes flower 35 days after sowing and complete their cycle in around 100 days. Others may have two flowering cycles per year depending on the distribution of rainfall. In dry areas, the plants sprout from the lower part of the stem with the return of rainfall. In the majority of the traditional varieties, the guide leaves are long (3 to 6 m), indeterminate, creeping (and therefore useful as ground cover) or climbing.
    The fibrous roots may attain several metres on filtering soils with deep humidity (Yucatán, coastal Peru), thus giving the plants great vegetative vigour (greater than maize) and a survival period of up to four years. In the wild populations. the seeds are dispersed through explosive dehiscence of the pods.

    Ecology and phytogeography
    Although not strict, there is a certain distribution pattern of the forms. The small-seed wild form is found from Sinaloa in Mexico to Salta in Argentina, generally below 1600 m. The small-seed cultivars frequently grow at a lower altitude in the Pacific area of Mesoamerica, from Arizona in the United States to Choco on the western range of Colombia as well as the Ecuadoran coast, and from Yucatán and Colombia to Venezuela and in the Antilles. It also exists h northeastern Brazil and in Formosa, Argentina. The larger wild form is distributed in Ecuador and in the north of Peru between 320 and 2030 m. The large-seed cultivars are distributed in Peru from 50 to 2750m and in the high valleys of Chuquisaca and Cochabamba in Bolivia. Curiously, some also exist in the south of Brazil.
    Phaseolus lunatus is a generally hardy species which prefers dry climates and deep soils (pH 6 to 7.2) with good drainage. Although it is true that some forms tolerate the climate of the lower tropics well, the species' exceptional altitude range should be mentioned, particularly in Peru where some forms withstand low temperatures. P. lunatus, both cultivated and wild, is rather heliophytic.

    Genetic diversity
    The intraspecific variability of Phaseolus lunatus is particularly high in the groups of Siva and Gran Lima varieties and less in the Caribbean group. There are several commercial cultivars, particularly in California (for example. Henderson and Fordhook) and for domestic consumption (unripe green seeds in salads) in the United States. Relatives of the Andean wild form are P. augusti Harms, Phaseolus bolivianus Piper and Phaseolus pachyrhiozoides Harms. Of the cultivated species, the latter has the widest secondary stock.
    There are numerous gene banks, mainly in Pullman in the United States (USDA), Chapingo in Mexico (INIFAP) and Palmira in Colombia (CIAT). Germplasm has been collected in order to save traditional material cultivated in several regions of the American tropics where varieties have rapidly disappeared. It could still be collected profitably in some parts of the Yucatán peninsula, northern Colombia, San Martin in Peru and in Paraguay.
    In the case of wild material (particularly of the small-seed tone) many regions fall short for collecting specimens: Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Petén in Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela and easten1 Bolivia.

    Cultivation practices
    In the neotropical zones of America, it is very common to find from one to five P. lunatus plants in household vegetable gardens and on small plots, as it is customary for families to add a few green seeds to soups. In the Mayan Yucatán, this bean is traditionally sown as part of the slash-and-burn clearing system with maize, buul (Phaseolus vulgaris) and gourds. On the coast of Colombia, carauta is found on plots with maize, cassava and guandul. On the coast of Peru, it was frequently found broadcast on the banks of mountain streams where it absorbed the floodwaters. Similar practices may have existed in the “cinteño” valley in Bolivia before the introduction of the grapevine. Nowadays, in Chinca, Peru, it is sown as a commercial monoculture (white seeds) on ridges with irrigation. In many parts of the Andean range (in the dry inter-Andean valleys at 2000 m of Nariño, Colombia; Imbabura and Azuay in Ecuador; and Cajamarca in Peru) Phaseolus lunatus is frequently seen growing on old walls separating plots and roads or on landslides and slopes. The peasants thus use the spaces of least value. In other parts of Peru (Cajamarca, La Libertad), the Gran Lima types are sown around the edge of small farms. In some places, the plants behave spontaneously and cross with the wild forms that exist in the surrounding area (for example in Succhubamba, Cajamarca).
    As it is sown almost individually in many family vegetable gardens. it is difficult to give figures for yield per area. Furthermore, periodic harvesting complicates the evaluation. In the shrubby forms, seed yields of 2000 kg per hectare have been recorded and, in climbing varieties, more than 3000 kg per hectare.

    Prospects for improvement
    Within the cultivated species, Phaseolus lunatus competes with Phaseolus coccineus through the genetic stock which is wider (primary and secondary) and differentiated into a very early form (for which there is genetic progress); it has a good rate of allogamy and heterosis has been found; consequently there are good prospects for improvement. Phaseolus lunatus relatively late production, as well as that of the indeterminate creeping forms, may be compensated by exploiting the earlier shrubby forms. There is a wide variation in the glucoside content in the seed, and potential for improvement with types of less than 5 ppm, without any correlation with the colour of the tegument. The evaluation of cultivars to determine the glucoside content will make it possible to establish many materials in traditional areas of cultivation and consumption. Its hardiness and lengthy production may be advantages in adverse conditions where other leguminous vegetables do not prosper. The aesthetic value of the Gran Lima varieties may be considered in the development of handicrafts (which could be useful in remote parts of the Andes). The restoration of traditional dishes and uses (for example in recreation) would also contribute to the crop's promotion. The selection of varieties resistant to grub (Acanthoscelides sp.) and weevil (Apion sp.), particularly the Gran Lima, and of shrubby forms with a greater diversity of seeds (colour, shape) as well as the study of production techniques (the use of nettings, sowing on slopes, etc.) should be mentioned as research priorities.

    Tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray)

    The Tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifoliusis commonly named by the following synonyms:
    • BURMESE : Taw-pe-nauk.
    • DANISH : Tepary-bønne.
    • DUTCH : Tepary-boon.
    • ENGLISH : Tepary bean.
    • FRENCH : Haricot tépari.
    • GERMAN : Teparybohne, Tepary-Bohne.
    • GREEK : Φασόλι τεπαρι Fasoli tepari, Μεξικάνικα φασόλια, Μεξικάνικο φασόλι.
    • ITALIAN : Fagiolo tepari.
    • MAYAN : Xmayum.
    • PORTUGUESE : Feijão-tepari.
    • RUSSIAN : Фасоль остролистная Fasol' ostrolistnaia, Тепари Tepari.
    • SLOVAKIAN : Fazuľa končistolistá.
    • SPANISH : Escomite, Escumite (Mexico), Frijol piñuelero (Costa Rica), Judía tépari, Tépari (Mexico).
    This species has been grown for a long time in Mesoamerica, mainly as a vegetable in desert zones or areas with a long dry period. Unlike the case of other cultivated species of the genus, Phaseolus acutifolius was first described in its wild form while the relationship with the cultivated form was recognized later Archaeological findings have shown that this species was grown in ancient times in the southeastern United States, where it apparently penetrated from Mexico 1200 years ago) and Puebla (where it existed 5000 years ago). Geographical distribution of the cultivated form extends from Arizona and New Mexico to Guanacaste, Costa Rica, on the dry subtropical slope of the Pacific. The distribution of Phaseolus acutifolius is sporadic, which is reflected in its market. The main product is a dry seed which is eaten because of its rich protein (17 to 27 percent) and carbohydrate content It is also used as a young tender string bean and as fodder after harvesting.
    It is still not known precisely where the species was domesticated It should be noted that electrophoretic analyses of the phaseolin and isoenzymes indicate that the domesticated populations were few. Either because of its historic extinction, because the initial genetic base was already reduced at the time of its domestication or because of the autogamy of the species, the cultivated genetic potential does not seem to have been very extensive, to judge from its sub sequent development. Following are some of the causes that several authors have reported as having led to neglect of the tepary bean:
    • the availability of cheap water in desert areas which enables the cultivation of fodder plants or garden produce and other vegetables of greater value (kidney bean, cowpea), as the tepary bean's yield remains the same or even diminishes with irrigation;
    • the loss of eating traditions in indigenous communities;
    • the shortage of demand on the big markets.
    Its cultivation potential in desert areas is extensive and is still to be explored.

    Botanical description
    Phaseolus acutifolius is a desert therophyte and is easily distinguished from other species of beans by its epigeal germination, sessile primary leaves, acute rhomboid folioles, pseudoracemes, with two to four fruit-bearing stems, small pink flowers (white in some cultivars) with very small triangular bracteoles and pods that have sutures marked with five to ten ovules. Autogamy appears to be dominant. Two wild forms are recognized: Phaseolus acutifolius var. acutifolius with rhomboid folioles and Phaseolus acutifolius var. tenuifolius with linear, sometimes sagittate, folioles. A third wild form appears sporadically with narrowly falcate folioles which. Because they have different blastogenic characteristics from the var. tenuifolius and possess a certain incompatibility for crossing. could be considered a separate species (Phaseolus parvifolius).
    Thc cultivated form, like the wild forms, has a short cycle, flowering 27 to 40 days after germination and ripening at 60 to 80 days. The plants wither completely (except Phaseolus parvifolius). In the wild forms, seeds are dispersed within a radius of 3 m by explosive dehiscence of the pods In some cultivars there is a brief postharvest latency of one month. The seeds of the wild plants germinate through the imbibition caused by the heavy desert rainfalls of the following year. However, only in some is germination staggered over three years.

    Ecology and phytogeography
    The cultivated form is found from 50 m to 1920 m above sea level. It requires an annual precipitation of 250 to 300 mm, although it is grown in Mexico in regions with a precipitation of 150 mm (Sonora) to 750 mm (Campeche). During the vegetative period, the daytime temperature can reach 20 to 32°C. It grows on well drained. sandy, muddy, sometimes organic soils with pH 6.7 to 7.1.
    There is an ecological specialization in the wild forms of the tepary bean: var. acutifolius of Arizona, New Mexico, Lower California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Sinaloa and Jalisco occupies semi-sunny habitats with the mesquite on the banks of streams. while var. tenuifolius colonizes the sunny slopes with cacti and thorny shrubs in Arizona, New Mexico, Lower California. Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, Querétaro, Michoacán, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Jalapa. The cultivated form is a heliophyte and has characteristics that allow it to tolerate excessive sun.

    Genetic diversity
    Compared with the kidney bean, there is less seed variability. Basically two forms occur: one with a fairly small, rounded, white or black seed; and another with a larger-sized angular, rhombohedric seed that may be white, greenish white, grey, bay, dark yellow, mahogany, black or purple-mottled or coffee in colour. The average weight of 100 cultivated tepary bean seeds is between 10 and 20 g and, for the wild form, between 2 and 5 g. Two cultivars have been cited: one is white (Redfield) and another is dark yellow. Both result from mass selection. Although the cultivated and wild materials do not have a definite habitat, a desert environment is necessary. Whereas the wild varieties are generally climbers with a few guide shoots (2 to 4 m in length), there are two cultivated groups: the indeterminate shrubby varieties with short guide leaves and the indeterminate creepers with long guide leaves, which climb if they find support. The author knows only one escape variety. The secondary genetic stock is not well known: the kidney bean may be considered to be within the tertiary stock.
    A good number of cultivars from which collections have been made mainly in Mexico appear to be no longer sown. It seems unlikely that many more cultivated forms will be found but it would be useful to re-examine the southern area of distribution. This examination is an example of a germplasm collection programme that has enabled a good part of the crop's variability to be saved. The two wild forms represent the major source of variation for future improvement of the species. As some plant species are threatened by overgrazing, it would be advisable to collect germplasm from Nayarit to Jalapa.

    Cultivation practices
    In the southern area of its distribution, the rural communities have conserved P. acutifolius, particularly because of its early maturity and reduced cultivation requirements. It is sown on the edge of maize fields, at the start of the rains to obtain the green bean and at the end of the rains to obtain the seed, or on plots around houses in virtually any period. In the northern area of its distribution (southeastern United States, northeastern Mexico), it is sown under heavy rain conditions in small fields with a favourable topography or on the edges of streams, generally alone or with some gourds and tolerated weeds. After the first heavy downpour, the land is ploughed and then sown in rows or broadcast following the second downpour. The plants are pulled up when they reach maturity and are left to dry in the sun. One week later they are trodden on a clean surface while the seeds are collected and winnowed with a basket. The seeds used to be stored in baskets or clay vessels (nowadays in tins or plastic bags), thus maintaining their germinating capacity for three years. In Campeche, to store seed for sowing, packets are made with the unopened pods and placed in contact with the smoke of embers.
    Yields are estimated to be 200 to 900 kg per hectare, with wide variations depending on sowing density and rainfall. About 1000 to 2000 kg per hectare are obtained with fertilizer, with harvests of up to 4 tonnes per hectare.

    Prospects for improvement
    The tepary bean is considered to be a useful species for improving the kidney bean (it is not attacked by mildew or smut, Xanthomonas phaseoli), but no programmes have been carried out for improving the tepary bean itself. Unlike many leguminous vegetables, it gives an acceptable yield with less than 400 mm of annual precipitation. Its small seed size could be corrected by improving the species; the variability in colours and seed standards could also be increased. A pronounced heterosis is noticed when lines are crossed and there is a possibility of hybrid tepary beans being produced (it would be necessary to determine whether the secondary stock would make it possible to increase the flower's attractability to insects; no cytoplasmatic androsterility or agents re-establishing fertility have been recorded in P. acutifolius). Some populations are susceptible to rust, oidium, mildew, root rot, leafminers, bruchids and leafhoppers. Some lines have good or excellent levels of resistance to these pests and diseases. In cultivation, the germplasm has proved susceptible to high temperatures, acidity, aluminum toxicity and common mosaic diseases.
    Its potential for introduction into desert areas (the American tropics, the Sahel, the Near East, India) is considerable but it has not been exploited. For example, in July 1985, the author sent a small sample of tepary bean plants to Chincha in Peru for evaluation; in 1989 one of the tepary beans was already being sold under the name of cuarenteno in Chiclayo. In many areas its use as a cover plant or as a crop merged with millet (Pennisetum sp.), prickly pear (Opuntia sp.), mesquite (Prosopis sp.) and jojoba (Simmondsia sp.), for human or animal consumption, has not been exploited either. It should be possible to use it as a postharvest crop when temperatures are still favourable and residual humidity is low. One of the main reasons for promoting cultivation of the tepary bean is to limit the use of water in subdesert areas.
    Research should be orientated towards increasing the collection of germplasm; distributing seed from gene banks to farmers; divulging information through agricultural extension services on the cultivation potential of the tepary bean in dry zones; setting up seed improvement projects; developing food technologies suited to leguminous vegetables (for example, industrial processing of proteins), which would free the farmer from market requirements; and promoting information on the methods of consumption in order to re-upgrade the use of this legume.


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