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Phaseolus.

Major entries:
Phaseolus lunatus Linn. Civet Bean. Lima Bean. Sieva Bean.
Phaseolus multiflorus Willd. Dutch Caseknipe Bean. Scarlet Runner.
Phaseolus vulgaris Linn. Common Bean. Haricot. Kidney Bean.

Phaseolus aconitifolius Jacq. Leguminosae. Moth Bean. Turkish Gram.

East Indies. This bean is cultivated in India and is called, in Hindustan, moot. It is a variety that does not twine and is used principally for feeding domestic animals but also serves as a food for man.

Phaseolus adenanthus G. P. W. Mey.

East Indies. This bean is cultivated for its seeds. A variety with edible roots occurs, and its use in India by the natives is mentioned by Graham.

Phaseolus asellus Molina.

Chile. This species was in cultivation by the natives of Chile before the conquest. The bean is spherical and pulpy.

Phaseolus calcaratus Roxb. Rice Bean.

East Indies and Malay. This bean is generally cultivated in India for its pulse. The plant is a twining one.

Phaseolus caracalla Linn. Caracol. Corkscrew-Flower. Snail-Flower.

Tropics. Under the name of caracol, this species is often grown in the gardens of South America, North America, southern Europe and sometimes in India for its large, showy and sweet-scented flowers. It seems doubtful if the pod or pulse is eaten.

Phaseolus derasus Schrank.

South America. The beans are used as a vegetable.

Phaseolus lunatus Linn. Civet Bean. Lima Bean. Sieva Bean.

Tropics. The lima bean is unquestionably of American origin, and De Candolle assigns its original habitat to Brazil, where the variety macrocarpus Benth. has been found growing wild. Seeds have been found in the mummy graves of Peru by Squier, at Pachacamac, and by Reiss and Stubel at Ancon. In southern Florida, the lima bean — the seeds white, blotched or speckled with red — is found growing spontaneously in abandoned Indian plantations, and various forms are recorded by authors under specific names as found in America and other countries; as Phaseolus bipunctatus Jacq., Phaseolus inamoenus Linn., Phaseolus puberulus H. B. & K., Phaseolus saccharatus Macfad., Phaseolus derasus Schrank (Martens), Phaseolus rufus Jacq. In the mentions of beans by voyagers, this form is not discriminated from the kidney bean, and hence we cannot offer precise statement of its occurrence from such authorities.

The lima bean is now widely distributed. It has not been found wild in Asia nor has it any modern Indian or Sanscrit name. Ainslie says it was brought to India from the Mauritius and that it is the Vellore, or Duffin, bean of the southern provinces. Wight says it is much cultivated and is seldom if ever found in a wild state, and the large-podded sort is said to have been brought by Dr. Duffin from the Mauritius. This bean is not mentioned by the early Chinese writers, but Luoreiro mentions it in Cochin China in 1790. A dark red form came to Martens from Batavia and an orange-red from farther India. Martens received it also from Sierra Leone; the form bipunctatus came from the Cape of Good Hope to Vienna; and Martens received it from Reunion under the name pois du cap. Jaquin, 1770, fixed its appearance in Austria, but it first reached England in 1779. The form inamoenus was considered by Linnaeus to belong to Africa, but he advances, as De Candolle remarks, no evidence of this habitat, and we may remark that the slave trade may well be responsible for the transmission very quickly of South American species of food plants of convenient characters for ship use to the African coast. Phaseolus derasus Schrank, considered by Sprengel a variety of Phaseolus inamoenus, was found at Rio Janeiro.

The lima bean is the scimitar-podded kidney bean and sugar bean of Barbados; it was mentioned in Jamaica by Lunan; it may have been the "bushel bean," "very flat, white and mottled with a purple figure," of the Carolinas in 1700-08, as this description applies very closely to the lima beans now spontaneous in Florida. Two types, the Carolina, or sieva, and the lima, were grown in American gardens in 1806. Eight varieties, some scarcely differing, are now offered for sale by our seedsmen; Vilmorin enumerates four for France; the speckled form occurs in Brazil and in Florida; a black form (Phaseolus derasus) in Brazil; the blood-red in Texas; the dark red with light or orange-ruddy spots in the Bourbon Island; the black, white-streaked in Cochin China; and the large white, the small white or sieva, the red, the white sort striped and speckled with dark red and the green are found in our gardens. In central Africa, but two seeds are ever found in a pod; in our most improved varieties there are five or even six. The synonymy is as follows:

Phaseoli magni late albi. Lob. Icon. 2:60. 1591.
B. peregrini I. genus alterrun. Clus. Hist. 2:223. 160. (Seen in 1576.) Fig.
Phaseolus, lato, striata, sive radiato semine. Bauh. J. 2:267. 1651. Fig.
Phaseolus novi, orbis, latis, totus candidus similaci hortensis affinis. Bauh. J. 2:268. 1651. Fig. Chabr. 137. 1673. Fig.
Phaseolus lunatus. Linn. Sp. 1016. 1763.
Phaseolus inamoenus. Linn. Sp. 1016. 1763.
Phaseolus bipunctatus. Jacq. Hort. I, t. 100, ex. Mill. Diet.
Phaseolus rufus. Jacq. Hort. I, 13, t. 34, ex. Mitt. Diet.
Phaseolus saccharatus. Macfad. 282. 1837.
Phaseolus puberulus. Kunth. Syn. 6:106. 1825.
Bushel or Sugar Bean. A Treat, on Gard. (1818?).
Sugar Bean. Maycock Barb. 293. 1830.
Lima Bean. McMahon 1806.

This bean requires a warm season and hence is not grown so much in northern and central Europe as in this country. Vilmorin describes three varieties and names two others. Martens, however, describes six well-marked types.

Types of Lima Beans.

1. The large, white lima is among those figured by Lobel and by J. Bauhin, and this places its appearance in Europe in 1591. According to Martens this is the Phaseolus inamoenus Linn. This type was in American gardens in 1828 and probably before.

2. The Potato lima is a white bean, much thickened and rounded as compared with the first. This type seems to be fairly figured by Lobel, 1591, and seems to be the Phaseolus limensis Macfad., justly esteemed in Jamaica.

3. The small, white lima, or sieve, saba, Carolina, Carolina sewee and West Indian, is esteemed on account of its greater hardiness over the other types. It is also well figured by Lobel, 1591, under the name Phaseoli parvi pallico-aibi ex America delati. On account of the names and the hardiness of the plant and from the fact that it probably was cultivated by the Indians, this may be the bushel or sugar bean, which was esteemed very delicate, appeared in various colors, as white, marbled, and green and was grown in Virginian gardens before 1818. Lawson, 1700-08, says: "The Bushel bean, a spontaneous growth, very flat, white, and mottled with a purple figure, was trained on poles" in the Carolinas. The sieva, if a synonym of the bushel bean, is the white form and was in American gardens before 1806. Vilmorin mentions a variety of the sieva spotted with red.

4. The speckled lima has white seeds striped and spotted with a deep, dark red. The figures of Lobel, 1591, under Phaseoli rubri, very well represent the cultivated variety, as also a sort said to be growing spontaneously in Florida in abandoned Indian fields.

5. The large red cannot be traced; it may be the blood-red bean Martens received from Texas, Sierra Leone and Batavia. It differs from the next but in size.

6. The small red answers well to the description given of Phaseolus rufus Jacq. by Martens, who put its appearance at 1770.

These six beans, with their synonyms, include all the lima beans now known, but there are a number of other types described which sooner or later will appear and will be claimed as originations. A careful reflection will convince that our varieties are all of ancient occurrence and that there have been no originations under culture within modern times. A black, white-streaked form is recorded in Cochin China by Loureiro; a white, black-streaked form is figured by Clusius in 1601; a black, as Phaseolus derasus Schrank, is reported in Brazil. The Phaseolus bipunctatus Jacq. has not as yet reached our seedsmen, although grown at Reunion under the name of pois du cap. Martens describes several others with a yellow band about the eye and variously colored; and one with an orange ground and black markings occurs among the beans from the Peruvian graves at Ancon at the National Museum.

Phaseolus multiflorus Willd. Dutch Caseknipe Bean. Scarlet Runner.

Mexico. This species has tuberous, poisonous roots. It has annual, twining stems and is grown in the garden. The young pods are tender and well flavored. In Britain, the green pods alone are used; in Europe, the ripened seeds, though in Holland they are grown for both the pod and seed. In India, it is mentioned by Firminger as grown. Burr describes three varieties. In 1806, McMahon says this bean was cultivated exclusively for ornament. In 1828, Fessenden mentions it among garden beans. The culture of the Scarlet Runner is very modern. In Johnson's edition of Gerarde, 1630, it is said to have been procured by Tradescant; in Ray's time, 1686, it was grown for ornament; Miller, about 1750, was the first to bring it into repute in England as a vegetable.

Phaseolus mungo Linn. Mung Bean.

Tropical Asia. Elliott says this is one of the most useful and largely cultivated of the Indian pulses, the green variety being more esteemed than the black. It is cultivated, according to Delile, by the modern Egyptians, and Schweinfurth says it is eaten by the Bongo tribe of central Africa.

Phaseolus pallar Molina.

Chile. This species was cultivated by the natives before the Conquest. The beans are half an inch long.

Phaseolus retusus Benth. Prairie Bean.

Western North America and common on the prairies west of the Pecos. The seeds are about the size of peas; when still green, they make an acceptable dish after thorough cooking.

Phaseolus triolobus Ait.

Asia and tropical Africa. This bean is cultivated in several varieties for its seeds, which are eaten by the poorer classes.

Phaseolus tuberosus Lour.

Cochin China. This bean has edible, tuberous roots.

Phaseolus vulgaris Linn. Common Bean. Haricot. Kidney Bean.

Cultivated everywhere. When the bean was first known, it was an American plant, and its culture extended over nearly the whole of the New World. It finds mention by nearly all the early voyagers and explorers, and, while the records were not kept sufficiently accurately to justify identification in all cases with varieties now known, the mass of the testimony is such that we cannot but believe that beans, as at present grown, were included. The evidence for the antiquity of the bean in America is both circumstantial and direct. The number of names given in the northern parts of America, alone, indicate an antiquity of culture: as, sake or sahu on the St. Lawrence (Cartier); ogaressa by the Hurons (Sagard); tuppuhguam-ash, "twiners," by the northern Algonquins (Elliott); a'teba'kwe by the Abenaki of the Kennebec (Rasle); mushaquissedes by the Pequods (Stiles); malachxil by the Delawares (Zeisberger); and okindgier on the Roanoke. Moreover, in these few cases, for illustration, we find no common root. The number of varieties that were grown by the Indians is another indication of antiquity of culture, but this fact of varieties will receive illustration in quotations from early voyagers.

John Verazanno, in a letter written in July, 1524, says of the Indians of Norum-Bega: "Their ordinairie food is of pulse, whereof they have great store, differing in colour and taste from ours, of good and pleasant taste." Evidently this first visitor to the New England coast had not seen kidney beans previously. In 1605, Champlain, writing of the Indians of the Kennebec region, says: "With this corn they put in each hill three or four Brazilian beans (Febues du Bresil), which are of different colors. When they grow up they interlace with the corn, which reaches to the height of from five to six feet; and they keep the ground very free from weeds." In 1614, Capt. John Smith mentions beans among the New England Indians, and when the Pilgrims first landed, November 19, 1620, Miles Standish unearthed from a pit not only corn but "a bag of beans." Wood also mentions "Indian's beans" as among the foods of the Massachusetts Indians, 1629-33. Lescarbot says that the Indians of Maine, 1608, like those of Virginia and Florida, plant their corn in hills, "and between the kernels of corn they plant beans marked with various colors, which are very delicate: these, because they are not so high as the corn, grow very well among it." The most complete enumeration of varieties is, however, given in Josselyn, before 1670: "French beans: or rather, American beans. The herbalists call them kidney-beans from their shape and effects: for they strengthen the kidneys. They are variegated much, some being bigger, a great deal, than others; some white, black, red, yellow, blue, spotted: besides your Bonivis and Calavances, and the kidney-bean that is proper to Roanoke. But these are brought into the country; the others are natural to the climate." In 1535, Cartier, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence, found beans of every color, yet differing from ours.

In 1609, Hudson, exploring the river which now bears his name, found, within the limits of what is now Rensselaer County, New York, "beans of the last year's growth." In 1653, Von der Donck, in his Description of the Netherlands, says: "Before the arrival of the Netherlanders (1614) the Indians raised beans of various kinds and colors but generally too coarse to be eaten green, or to be pickled, except the blue sort, which are abundant." In 1633, DeVries "proceeded in the yacht up the (Delaware) river, to procure beans from the Indians."

"Beans" were seen by Newport, 1607, in ascending the James River, but Heriot, 1586, describes the okindgier of Virginia, "called by us beans, because in greatness and partly in shape they are like to the beans in England, saving that they are flatter, of more divers colours, and some pied. The leaf also of the stem is much different." In 1700-08, Lawson says: "The kidney-beans were here before the English came, being very plentiful in Indian corn-fields. The bushel-bean, a spontaneous growth, very flat, white and mottled with a purple figure, was trained on poles. (This is undoubtedly the lima, as it answers to the description given by a very creditible person who secured for me samples from a spontaneous plant in Florida: the trunk as large as a man's thigh, and the plant known for the past twenty-five years, some years yielding as much as fifty bushels of pods,' and the seeds smaller than the cultivated lima, very flat, white and mottled with purple.) Indian rounceval or miraculous pulse, so called from their large pods and great increase; they are very good, and so are the bonavis, calavances, nanticokes and abundance of other pulse, too tedious to mention, which we find the Indians possessed of when first we settled in America." Bonavis is perhaps Bona vista, a variety of bean sold by Thorburn, a New York seedsman, in 1828. The bonavista bean (Long) of Jamaica, is said to be Lablab vulgaris; calavances is the Barbados name for Dolichos sinensis Linn., as used by Long, a red bean; and galavangher pea is the Barbados name for D. barbadensis Mayc. In A True Declaration of Virginia, London, 1610, p. 12, "the two beans (planted with the corn) runne upon the stalks of the wheat, as our garden pease upon stickes."

In 1528, Narvaes found beans in great plenty in Florida and westward, and de Vaca found beans in New Mexico or Sonora in 1535. De Soto, 1539, also found beans in abundance and mentions that "the granaries were full of maes and small beans," but we have no clue to the species. Beans are also mentioned in Ribault's Voyage, 1562, as cultivated by the Florida Indians.

The mention of beans in Mexico is frequent. The Olmecs raised beans before the time of the Toltecs; beans were a product of the Nahua tillage; they are mentioned by Acosta in 1590; Alarcon speaks of their culture by the Indians of the Colorado River in 1758. The native Mexican name was ayacotle, according to Humboldt, and Bancroft says that they were the etl of the Aztecs; when boiled in the pod exotl.

In November, 1492, Columbus, in Cuba, found "a sort of bean" or "fields planted with faxones and habas very different from those of Spain;" and red and white beans were afterwards seen by him in Honduras, according to Pickering. Gray and Trumbull quote Oviedo as saying that on the island and on the main many bushels are produced yearly of these and of Jesoles of other sorts and different colors.

The Indians of Peru, according to de la Vega, had three or four kinds of beans called purutu. Squier found lima beans in the mummy covering of a woman from the huaca at Pachacamac, Peru; Wittmack, who studied the beans brought from Peruvian tombs by Reiss and Strobel, identified the lima beans and also three kidney beans with Phaseolus vulgaris purpurens Martens, Phaseolus vulgaris ellipticus praecox Alefield, and Phaseolus vulgaris ellipticus atrofuscus Alefield.

In Chile, Molina says that before the country was conquered by the Spaniards, 13 or 14 kinds of the bean, varying but little from the common European bean, were cultivated by the natives. One of these has a straight stalk, the other 13 are climbers.

Commentators have quite generally considered Phaseolus vulgaris as among the plants cultivated by the ancients, and De Candolle, who has given the subject much thought, thinks the best argument is in the use of the modem names derived from the Greek fasiolos and the Roman faseolus and phasiolus. In 1542, Fuchsius used the German word Faselen for the bean; in 1550, Roeszlin used the same word for the pea, as did also Tragus in 1552. Fuchsius gives also an alternative name, welsch Bonen and Roeszlin, welsch Bonen and welsch Phaselen for the bean; the same word, welsch Bonen, is given for the bean by Tragus, 1552, and Kyber, 1553. This epithet, welsch or foreign, would seem to apply to a kind not heretofore known. Albertus Magnus, who lived in the thirteenth century, used the wordfaselus as denoting a specific plant; as "faba et faseolus et pisa et alia genera eguminis," "cicer, fava, faseolus." He also says, "Et sunt faseoli multorum colorum, sed quodlibet granorum habet maculam nigram in loco cotyledonis." Now Dolichos unguiculatus Linn. is a plant which produces beans with a black eye (the black eye appears in many varieties of cowpea of the southern states) and is stated by Vilmorin to be grown in Italy in many varieties. Of 219 bottles of true beans, each with a distinct name, many, however, synonyms, not one has a black eye. The seeds of Dolichos unguiculatus, as well as 12 named varieties of cowpea all have a circle of black about the white eye, also one variety of cowpea which is all black has a white eye, and one red-speckled form does not have the black. It seems, therefore, reasonable to conclude that the faselus of Albertus Magnus was a Dolichos. In the list of vegetables Charlemagne ordained to be planted on his estates the word fasiolum occurs without explanation.

Passing now to the Roman writers, Columella speaks of longa fasellus, an epithet which well applies to the pods of the Dolichos; he gives directions for field culture, not for garden culture, and recommends planting in October. Pliny says the pods are eaten with the seed, and the planting is in October and November. Palladius recommends the planting of faselus in September and October, in a fertile and well-tilled soil, four modii per jugerum. Virgil's epithet, vilemque phaselum, also indicates field culture, as to be cheap implies abundance.

Among the Greek writers, Aetius, in the fourth century, says the Dolichos and the Phaseolus of the ancients were now called by all lobos, and by some melax kepea. This word lobos of Aetius is recognizable in the Arabic loubia, applied to Dolichos lubia Forsk., a bean with low stalks, the seed ovoid, white, with a black point at the eye.

From these and other clues to be gleaned here and there from the Greek authors, one is disposed to think that the low bean of the ancients was a Dolichos, and that the word phaselus referred to this bean whenever used throughout the Middle Ages in speaking of a field crop.

The Roman references to Phaseolus all refer to a low-growing bean fitted for field culture and so used. There is no clear indication to be found of garden culture. Aetius seems the first among the Greeks to refer to a garden sort, for he says the lobos are the only kind in which the pod is eaten with the bean; and, he says, this lobos is called by some melax kepea (Smilax hortensis), the Dolichos and Phaseolus of his predecessors. Galen's use of the word lobos, or the pod plant, would hence imply garden culture in Greece in the second century.

The word loubion is applied by the modem Greeks to Phaseolus vulgaris, as is also the word loba in Hindustani. The word lubia is used by the Berbers, and in Spain the form alubia, for Phaseolus vulgaris. The words fagiuolo in Italian, phaseole in French, are also used for this species. It is so easy for a name used in a specific sense to remain while the forms change, as is illustrated by the word squash in America, that we may interpret these names to refer to the common form of their time, to a Dolichos (even, now in some of its varieties called a bean) in ancient times and to a Phaseolus now.

Theophrastus says the dolichos is a climber, bears seeds and is not a desirable vegetable. The word dolichos seems to be used in a generic sense. There is no other mention of a climber by the ancient authors. The dolichos of Galen is the faselus of the Latins for he says that some friends of his had seen the dolichos (a name not then introduced in Rome) growing in fields about Caria, in Italy. We may, therefore, be reasonably certain that the pole beans which were so common in, the sixteenth century were not then cultivated.

The English name, kidney beans, is derived, evidently, from the shape of the seed. Turner, 1551, uses the name first, but these beans were not generally grown in England until quite recent times. Parkinson, 1629, speaks of them as oftener on rich men's tables; and Worlidge, 1683, says that within the memory of man they were a great rarity, although now a common, delicate food. The French word haricot, applied to this plant, occurs in Quintyne, 1693, who calls them aricos in one place, and haricauts in another. The word does not occur in Le Jardinier Solitaire, 1612, and Champlain, 1605, uses the term febues du Bresil, indicating he knew no vernacular name of closer application. De Can-dolle says the word araco is Italian and was originally used for Lathyrus ochrus; it is apparently thus used by Oribasius and Galen.

The two species of Linnaeus, Phaseolus vulgaris and Phaseolus nanus, correspond to the popular grouping into pole and dwarf beans. But there is this to be remarked, that Linnaeus's synonyms for Phaseolus nanus apply to a Dolichos and not to a Phaseolus, for the descriptions of Phaseolus vulgaris italicus humilis s. minor, albus cum orbita nigricante of Bauhin's' History answer well to the cowpea, as does also C. Bauhin's Smilax silique swsum rigente s. Phaseolus parvus italicus, and do not apply to the bush bean. The figures given by Camerarius, 1586, by Matthiolus, 1598, and by Bauhin, 1651, are all cowpeas, although the names given are those used for the true bean, thus indicating the same confusion between the species and the names which kept pace with the introduction of new varieties of the bean from America, for Pena and Lobel, 1570, say that many sorts of fabas Pheseolosve were received from sailors coming from the New World.

Bush Bean.

(Phaseolus nanus Linn.)

The first figure of the bush bean is by Fuchsius, 1542, and his drawing resembles very closely varieties that may be found today — not the true bush, but slightly twining. In 1550, Roeszlin figures a bush bean, as does Matthiolus, 1558, Pinaeus, 1561, and Dalechamp, 1587. Matthiolus says the species is common in Italy in gardens and oftentimes in fields, the seed of various colors, as white, red, citron and spotted. Dalechamp figures the white bean. The dwarf bean is not mentioned by Dodonaeus, 1566 nor in 1616. A list of varieties cultivated in Jamaica is given by Macfadyen, 1837, which includes the one-colored black, yellow and red; the streaked, in which the seeds are marked with broad, linear, curved spots; the variegated, the seeds marked with rubiginose, leaden, more or less rounded spots; and the saponaceous, with the back of the seeds white, the sides and concavity marked with spots so as to resemble a common soap-ball.

Gerarde, 1597, does not mention this bean in England but it is mentioned by Miller, 1724, in varieties which can be identified with those grown at the present time, five in all. In 1765, Stevenson names 7 varieties; in 1778, Mawe names 11; in 1883, Vilmorin describes 69 varieties and names others.

Pole Beans.

(Phaseolus vulgaris Linn.)

Pole beans are figured by Tragus, 1552, who speaks of them as having lately come into Germany from Italy and calls them welsch, or foreign and enumerates the various colors as red, purplish-white, variegated, white, black and yellowish. Dodonaeus, 1566 and 1616, figures the pole bean; as does Lobel, 1576 and 1591; Clusius, 1601; and Castor Durante, 1617. In 1597, Gerarde figures four varieties in England: the white, black, red and yellow. Barnaby Googe speaks of French beans, 1572, indicating by the name the source from which they came. In 1683, Worlidge names two sorts as grown in English gardens, and the same varieties are given by Mortimer, 1708. In France, 1829, 19 sorts are enumerated by Noisette; and in 1883, Vilmorin describes 38 varieties and names others.


Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.



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