Snap beans come in a huge range of sizes and colors, because any immature bean with pods that taste good when “snapped” into pieces is a snap bean. They are classified into two major groups, "bush" beans and "pole" beans. These are called green beans, snap beans, wax beans, butter beans and many more local and regional names.
Bush beans are short plants, growing to approximately 2 feet in height, without requiring supports. They generally reach maturity and produce all of their fruit in a relatively short period of time, then stop producing. Pole beans have a climbing habit and produce a twisting vine, which must be supported by trellises or cages.
Both purple and yellow wax beans are snap beans with color variations. Purple beans are a bush variety, their color comes from plant pigments called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments that also give red cabbage, purple cauliflower, and purple asparagus their vibrant color. You will notice that they turn green when steamed or boiled. Yellow wax beans are common in bean salads and have a very crisp and waxy bite that is particular to the yellow variety.
The Tale of the Three Beans ends with this….all three are beautiful to look at, all three are delicious and all three are easy to grow and thrive at Marymoor. Try all three and decide for yourself which one you like the best.