- Green beans are a fruit and not a vegetable, a gardening expert explained
- They fit the definition of a fruit as they are technically ‘a pod with seeds inside’
- However they are picked when they are not yet ripened and sold in that state
It might be found in supermarket vegetable aisles but the green bean is actually a fruit, an expert has explained.
Toby Adams, director of the Edible Academy at the New York Botanical Garden, explained the green bean, also known as a string bean or French bean, fits the technical definition of a fruit as it is a ‘pod that has seeds inside of it’.
However it is picked prematurely before the seed has had a chance to fully develop.
Toby Adams, director of the Edible Academy at the New York Botanical Garden, explained the green bean, also known as a string bean or French bean, is technically a fruit
Speaking in an interview with Mashable, Mr Adams said: ‘Fruits are structures that contain seeds… And a green bean is, basically, a pod that has seeds inside of it.’
The green bean is a legume, which is technically a fruit despite its association with vegetables.
Specifically the legume is a ‘dry fruit’, one that has a wood-like or leathery appearance and is not soft to the touch.
Other dry fruits include peas, peanuts and other types of bean.
Green beans, pictured growing, are picked before the seeds are fully developed
When the bean is fully developed, the dried out pod cracks open to reveal a mature seed that falls to the earth and eventually germinates.
However the green beans that are eaten have been picked before prematurely, with the seed still sitting inside the pod.
Mr Adams added: ‘But if you were in the garden and you … let those fruits fully develop… the pod would eventually dry out.’