Bean originally meant the seed of the fava bean, but was later broadened to include members of the genus Phaseolus such as the common bean or haricot and the runner bean and the related genus Vigna. The term is now applied in a general way to many other related plants such as soybeans, peas, lentils, vetches and lupins. Bean can be used as a near synonym of pulse, i.e. an edible legume, though some restrict pulse to just varieties used as dry seeds. Leguminous crops harvested green for food like snap beans, green peas etc. are classified as vegetable crops. The term "pulses" is usually reserved for those leguminous crops which are harvested for their dry grain. Pulses exclude those crops mainly used for oil extraction like soybean and peanut) or those used exclusively for sowing purposes (clover and alfalfa). In English usage beans sometimes also refer to seeds or other organs of non leguminosae for example coffee beans, castor beans and cocoa beans (which resemble bean seeds), and vanilla beans (which resemble the pods).













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