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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Phaseolus (beans)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Fabales > Family: Fabaceae > Subfamily: Papilionoideae

About 50 species, native to the Americas; nine species are cultivated in southern Africa including Phaseolus vulgaris, which includes most of the well-known edible bean varieties.

Species cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Phaseolus adenanthus

Native to India.


Phaseolus atropurpureus

Native to Mexico.


Phaseolus aureus

Native to India


Phaseolus calcaratus

Native from India to Malaysia.


Phaseolus coccineus (Scarlet runner bean)

Native to Mexico.


Phaseolus lunatus (Lima Bean, Sieva Been, Butter Bean)


Phaseolus ricccardianus


Phaseolus trinervis


Phaseolus vulgaris (Green Beans, Large White Beans, Flageolet, Black Bean, Borlotto Bean, Red Kidney Bean, Cannellino Bean, Sugar bean)



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.