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Title: Phaseolus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Bean, Buru, Phaseolus acutifolius, Phaseolus maculatus, Phaseolus
Collection: Phaseolus
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


P. vulgaris
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Phaseoleae
Subtribe: Phaseolinae
Genus: Phaseolus

see text

Phaseolus (bean, wild bean)[1] is a genus in the family Fabaceae containing about 70 plant species, all native to the Americas, primarily Mexico.[2]

At least four of the species have been domesticated since pre-Columbian times for their beans.[3] Most prominent among these is the common bean, P. vulgaris, which today is cultivated worldwide in tropical, semitropical, and temperate climates.

Previous classifications placed in this genus a number of other well-known species that have now been removed to genus Vigna, sometimes necessitating a change of species name. For example, older literature refers to the mung bean as Phaseolus aureus, whereas more modern sources classify it as Vigna radiata. Similarly, the snail bean Vigna caracalla was discovered in 1753 and in 1970 moved from Phaseolus to Vigna. The modern understanding of Phaseolus indicates a genus endemic to the New World alone.

Phaseolus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including common swift, garden dart, ghost moth Hypercompe albicornis, H. icasia and the nutmeg.


The generic name Phaseolus was introduced by Linnaeus in 1753,[4] borrowed from the Latin phaseolus a combination of phasēlus and the diminutive suffix -olus, in turn borrowed from Greek φάσηλος 'cowpea'[5] (often incorrectly glossed as 'kidney bean', a New World crop), whose ultimate origin is unknown.[6]


Species include:[7]


  1. ^ "Phaseolus".  
  2. ^ Delgado-Salinas, A.; Thulin, M.; Pasquet, R.; Weeden, N.; Lavin, M. (2011). "Vigna (Leguminosae) sensu lato: the names and identities of the American segregate genera".  
  3. ^ Rosales-Serna, R.; Hernández-Delgado, S.; González-Paz, M.; Acosta-Gallegos, J. A.; Mayek-Pérez, N. (2005). "Genetic Relationships and Diversity Revealed by AFLP Markers in Mexican Common Bean Bred Cultivars". Crop Science 45 (5): 1951.  
  4. ^ Linnaeus, Species Plantarum 2:623, cited in Oxford English Dictionary 'phaseolin's.v.
  5. ^ Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon s.v. φάσηλος
  6. ^ Oxford English Dictionary 'phaseolin's.v.
  7. ^ ILDIS Version 6.05
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