Runner Beans Vs Green Beans

Last Updated on October 30, 2022

Ever wondered if there is any difference between runner beans vs green beans? The answer to this is pretty easy and this post will inform you what you need to know about this.

Beans are staples in our various homes and they are generally nutritious. There are many types of beans and some of the popular ones are runner beans and string beans which are also known as green beans.

Beans are fairly easy to grow which is why it is loved by most growers. They tend to grow so fast and you can expect your harvest in about a week.

In this article, we will be looking at two types of beans which are runner beans and green beans. So let’s dive in and discuss the differences between runner beans vs green beans.

What Are Runner Beans?

So, what is a runner bean? Runner beans are plants from the legume family and they are scientifically known as Phaseolus coccineus. Runner beans are also regarded or known as scarlet beans, Oregon lima beans, or multiflora beans.

Now runner beans are edible beans and are great-tasting vegetables. These beans were popularly consumed in the early American colonies and in Britain. And they are still here to stay.

Runner beans are even considered an alternative to the long-season lima bean. They are perennial plants but they are mostly grown as annuals. The shape of runner beans seeds is similar to lima beans and they are often black with speckles of purple and red.

What Are Runner Beans

Although runner beams are native to South America and Central America, they can still grow adequately in any climate. These beans tend to germinate better in cool spring soil than the traditional green bean.

Surprisingly, runner beans may even overwinter in regions that are mild freezing and the ground does not freeze.

Furthermore, runner beans are great for edible landscaping. They tend to produce lots of charming flowers and you get more lovely flowers from this plant so far you keep picking the beans. The red variety of runner beans is particularly popular with hummingbirds.

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Difference Between Green Beans And String Beans

So what exactly is the difference between runner beans vs green beans? Runner beans and green beans are totally two different plants. Here are some of their differences:

·         Shape

The shape of runner beans tends to be flat and big. Green bean on the other hand feels smooth, plump, and with the shape of a kidney.

·         Productivity

When it comes to productivity, runner beans are also more productive than green beans.

Difference Between Green Beans And String Beans - Productivity

·         Strings

Runner beans have their green pods to be rough and flat. Their pods have strings that need to be removed. Then they need to be cut diagonally into smaller pieces before they can be eaten.

Therefore, runner beans will require you to properly prepare them so you don’t end up having a stringy and gritty meal after cooking them. Hence, if time isn’t on your side, runner beans may not be ideal if you want a quick meal fix.

But green beans on the other hand used to have strings running down the length of their pods. This is why they are sometimes referred to as string beans. However, they have now been bred to become stringless.

So, there is no need or stress for green beans to be destrung when preparing. Hence, it’s a good choice for a quick meal fix.

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·         Seed Growth

Once the green bean seed has been planted and it begins to grow, the first thing to sprout from the ground is the two halves of the seed.

When it comes to planting the seeds of runner beans, on the other hand, the first thing to germinate from the ground is the stem and the first set of leaves.

Outsidepride Scarlet Runner Beans Vine Plant Seed – 25 Seeds

·         Flowers

Runner beans produce this beautiful and showy flower that can serve as an ornamental plant. The flowers of runner beans vine can produce can be up to 2.5 cm. The flowers are usually eye-catching red or orange colors and it can be around 20 flowers to a stalk. The iridescent hummingbirds as well as bees are usually attracted to their flowers.

The flowers green bean tends to produce are small and not so eye-catching compared to runner beans.

·         Perennial Or Annual

Green beans are annual plants. Runner beans on the other hand are perennial but they can be sometimes grown as annuals.

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·         Vines Twisting

The vines of runner beans are inclined to twist clockwise. On the other hand, the vine of green beans is inclined to twist counterclockwise.

·         Affordability

Runner beans are quite cheaper compared to green beans.

·         Species

Runner beans may be in the same genus as snap beans, but they are in different species.

Similarities Between Runner Beans Vs Green Beans

Here are some similarities between green beans and runner beans:

  • The same type of care you will offer green bean plants is the same as runner beans.
  • They both need to be planted in moderately rich soil that has been amended with lots of organic matter. Full sun is also required for both runner and green beans.
  • They will both require support like a trellis for the vining variety.
  • Both runner beans and green beans seeds can be commenced indoors or you can sow the seeds directly. Although beans grow rapidly, they, however, do not transplant well. But you can have the upper hand if you have a short season. Just ensure you wait until the ground has warmed before you commence planting outside.


What is the difference between green beans and runner beans?

From a culinary perspective, there's no real difference. The difference is in the name. Green beans are those that have been picked before they've reached full size, while runner beans are harvested when they're still small.

Green beans are beans that have not yet been harvested. They grow up to a foot long and are generally available in the summertime, while runner beans are the result of crossbreeding two different types of beans. 

Runner beans are a large, upright bean that grows in a pod. They’re a great source of fibre, iron and potassium. They’re also known as broad beans or garden peas. Runner beans grow well in the UK and most other countries, but you can also grow them from seed. Runner beans are commonly eaten in salads, soups and stews. You can also use the fresh pods to make a delicious and healthy snack.

Runner beans are available from early summer until late autumn. They like full sun, fertile soil, and regular watering. However, they do grow quite tall and can get rather unruly. If your runner beans are growing too high for your liking, try pruning them back in late summer. Runner beans are a good source of fibre, iron and potassium.

What are runner beans good for?

Runner beans have been around for a long time. They were cultivated by the Mayans, Aztecs, and Romans. Runner beans are very nutritious and a great addition to your veg box. They are also incredibly versatile as they can be cooked in so many ways. They have a mild, earthy flavour and are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein and iron. Runner beans grow quickly and can be harvested when the pods are young and tender.

How do you grow runner beans?

Runner beans can be grown from seed, but you will need to start them indoors at least 4 weeks before your last frost date. You can sow them direct in the garden after your last frost date or if sown early indoors you can transplant them once your soil has warmed up. Runner beans are a fast growing plant and should be planted about 12cm deep and 20cm apart. They are a heavy feeder so it is best to add plenty of compost into the planting hole before adding the seed. Runner beans require a lot of sun, so choose a sunny spot in your veg patch. Sow the seed on a warm windowsill or under a heat mat and keep moist until they germinate.

What are green beans good for?

If you’re a lover of green beans, you may be wondering what exactly they’re good for. Green beans are an easy vegetable to grow, but they have many health benefits, especially when cooked or prepared in other ways. They contain vitamins A and C, as well as folic acid and potassium, all of which are essential for the body.

Conclusion On Runner Beans Vs Green Beans

Bens are staples in most of our homes. Runner beans and green beans are great-tasting beans with good nutrition. It is fairly easy to grow beans and both runner beans and green beans can be grown in similar ways.

When it comes to runner beans vs green beans, these are completely two different plants and we have discussed some of their major differences. So, do well to go through our information so you can be enlightened about the differences between these two amazing beans.