The twelfth annual report of the Missouri Botanical Garden, pp. 81-165 (also published in separate pamphlet form under the title of "Garden Beans"), and Bulletin No. 260 of the Cornell Experiment Station, give comprehensive keys to cultivated varieties and complete botanical descriptions of varieties grown in the United States.
Burpee Kidney was introduced in 1906, and is regarded one of the most valuable varieties.
German Black Wax, also known as Saddle-back, Saddleback Wax and by other synonyms, is planted extensively.
Pencil-Pod Black Wax, the best of the black wax group, is desirable for home use or for market.
Improved Golden Wax is grown extensively and is sold under a dozen or more names, but often referred to as the Rust-Proof Golden Wax.
Black Valentine is extensively grown and is especially popular in the South. It closely resembles Red Valentine, but is more stringy and fibrous.
Burpee Stringless is said to be listed by at least 140 seedsmen. C. D. Jarvis says (Cornell Bulletin 260, p. 197) concerning it: "One of the most popular and widely grown varieties. Compared with Giant Stringless, it has a smaller pod, is less depressed between beans and slightly darker in color. Burpee Stringless makes up in quality for that which it lacks in appearance. It is slightly susceptible to disease, but otherwise hardy. Because of its reliability, productiveness and good quality it is one of the best both for home use and for market".
Red Valentine is the most extensively grown green-podded variety. The pods are produced in large clusters on erect plants. It is very prolific and reliable and an excellent shipper; used extensively for canning and pickling and for general commercial purposes.
Refugee is an old reliable variety, hardy, vigorous and productive, and used largely for canning.
Goddard is regarded the best green shell bean of the class known as the "dwarf horticultural." It is an excellent midseason variety.
Dwarf Horticultural is better known than Goddard, but the latter is superior to it in every particular.
Golden Carmine, the best of the pole wax-podded varieties, originated in 1904, and is not so well known as older varieties. The pods are large and equally valuable for snap or green shell purposes and desirable for home use or for market.
Golden Cluster is better known than Golden Carmine, but is regarded as inferior.
Creaseback is the best early pole bean for snap purposes. It is moderately productive, fleshy, very brittle and of fair quality.
Kentucky Wonder is the most extensively grown green-podded pole variety, although C. D. Jarvis (Cornell Station, Bul. 260, p. 225) states, "It is not sufficiently productive, attractive nor resistant to be generally recommended".
Lazy Wife, known in many localities as White Cranberry, is valued for its stringless pods of high quality. It is an excellent general purpose late variety.
Leviathan is one of the best varieties of pole limas. It is early and desirable for home use and market.
Ideal is a large-seeded lima, vigorous, a good climber and quite productive.
King Of The Garden is largely grown and a valuable general-purpose lima.
There are two classes of limas; namely, the small (Phaseolus lunatas) and the large (P. lunatas macrocarpus). There are pole and bush representatives of each class.
Henderson is the best known and most widely cultivated bush or dwarf variety of the small type.
Fordhook is the most popular variety of the large bush limas. Other varieties of this class are Burpee, Dreer or Kumerle, Wonder and Burpee Improved. Of this class, Burpee was the first variety introduced. It originated with Mr. Asa Palmer, of Kennett Square, Pa. Bush beans are now generally grown where soil and climatic conditions are suitable. A long and warm season is required for full success.
There are four distinct types of field beans. Professor John W. Gilmore has prepared the following key to the group:
Kidney, seed 1.5 centimeters or more in length, more or less reniform; ratio—length, width, thickness, 1-.4869-•3731.
Marrow, seed between 1 and 1.5 centimeters in length. Thickness exceeding half the length, 1-.6537-.6029.
Medium, seed 1 to 1.2 centimeters in length. Thickness less than half the length, 1-.678-.4975.
Pea, seed .8 centimeters or less in length, not reniform, 1-.7467-.6096.
C. D. Irish ("American Varieties of Beans," p. 163) recommends the following varieties of the field class for shell purposes: Of the kidney type, White Kidney, Prolific Pickler and Red Kidney; of the Marrow type, Vine-less Marrow, White Marrow, Aroostook and China Red Eye; of the Medium type, Burlingame; of the Pea type, Navy and Snowflake. The pea and medium types are grown the most extensively; their earliness is a great advantage when the crop is to be followed by wheat.
Probably the bean is more widely distributed than any other cultivated vegetable. It is grown in nearly all parts of the world. In tropical countries certain species grow luxuriantly and produce abundantly, while the coldest agricultural sections grow certain hardy species or varieties with success.