Annual and perennial herbs, mostly climbing. Leaves each with 3 leaflets, each with a stipel; stipulate. Flowers axillary. Flowers with a keel with a spirally coiled tip; stamens with upper one free. Style twisted through more than 360°. Fruit pod mostly linear, dehiscent, containing many seeds.
Grown in the vegetable garden for the edible beans. In Australia the Green Bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, is grown commercially for both the fresh market and processing; French or Dwarf Beans are the most popular.
About 36 species, mostly tropical and warm-climate.
Many species have edible seeds and pods, the best known being Runner Beans, Lima Beans, and Kidney or French Beans.
Style twisted through more than 360°.
Source: (2002). Fabaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.