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The difference between Peas and Beans
Peas or Beans?

Peas or Beans?

Scott Bauer-USDA
Peas and beans are both legumes but there are distinct physical differences between a pea plant and a bean plant.

  • Pea plants have tendrils which grow from the main stem and attach to an adjacent plant or structure in order to support the plant.
  • The whole stem of the bean plant wraps around any nearby plant or support stake.
  • Both peas and beans grow inside pods but peas are harvested from the pod while young and tender.
  • Generally, beans are allowed to fully mature and then harvested and dried.
  • Peas tend to like cool, wet weather and become tough and inedible during the summer months.
  • Beans will thrive in hotter, drier climes.

Some edible pea pod varieties such as snow peas are eaten whole and there are some varieties of beans such as snap beans and string beans that are eaten pods and all while still at a tender age.

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