The Q&A Archives: Italian Green Beans

Question: Are Italian Green Beans pole beans? Are there bush varieties also? Is flat pole bean a proper description of this bean? Do different areas of the US refer to the bean by different names? Are there commercial versus gardener varieties?

Answer: There are bush type Italian green beans (the ones with the flat, "meaty" pods and rich bean flavor); Burpee's 'Early Bush Italian' and 'Roma' are two. I haven't heard them called flat pole beans, though that would certainly describe them. They are sometimes called "Romano-type" (this is actually a pole variety) or Italian-type. There are so many bean varieties, and beans have been a staple food for so long, that I'm sure there are different names for the same variety out there. And certain locales likely have colloquial names for their favorites.

Commercial varieties tend to be bush types that produce uniform beans that mature all at once for easy picking. 'Provider' is one variety popular with both commercial growers and home gardeners.

Hope this helps!

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