Green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) belong to the Fabaceae family and serve as a vegetable garden staple. They require little care and minimal space and are deemed highly productive plants.
Green beans, originating from the Americas, are tender annuals commonly known as string beans, French beans, or snap beans. A wide variety of green beans exist. While most are indeed green, they are available in red, yellow, purple, and streaked varieties. They are also available in two growing styles – bush and pole.
The leaves vary between green and purple and are divided into three smooth-edged oval leaflets growing alternately on the stems. The small flowers (white, pink, purple, or lilac) mature into bean pods ranging between 3 and 9 inches.
Green beans are a fun, rewarding vegetable to grow. They boast gorgeous green foliage, colorful flowers, and a bounty of fresh bean pods. Here are the top 5 plants that resemble green bean plants’ attractive pods or foliage.
1. Happy Bean (Peperomia Ferreyrae)
The Happy Bean is a compact, semi-succulent that belongs to the large Piperaceae family. It is a tiny forest-dweller native to Peru’s tropical and subtropical forests.
The Peperomia Ferreyae only grows to a maximum of 1 foot long. Despite its small stature, this eye-catching plant is impossible to overlook thanks to its curious-looking nature. It boasts numerous narrow and thick, bright green foliage with a dark stripe along the top. The leaves are slightly curved and pointed, resembling green beans – hence the name.
The Peperomia Ferreyae is an ideal decorative plant to place on a windowsill, bookshelf, or office table. It requires minimal care and boasts healthy bean-like foliage for long periods. Provide indirect sunlight and bi-weekly watering.
Related: 10 Plants That Look Like Peperomia
2. String Bean Hoya (Hoya Shepherdii)
The String Bean Shepherdii is a gorgeous plant that belongs to the Hoya genus and Apocynaceae family. This vining succulent has roots that go back to the tropical regions of Assam and the Eastern Himalayas.
The Hoys Shepherdii features elongated deep green leaves that resemble string beans. It also produces fragrant white porcelain flowers in circular half-balls in summer.
The String Bean Sherpherdii is perfect for indoor or outdoor hanging pots and baskets. Its long, pendulous vines gracefully cascade down the sides of pots due to the hefty weight of the thick, waxy foliage. Provide bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, and water once the top two inches of soil are dry to keep the plant thriving.
3. Crassula Congesta ‘Green Beans’
Crassula Congesta ‘Green Beans’ belongs to the Crassulaceae family and is native to South Africa, specifically restricted to the area of Touwsrivier to Laingsburg and the Little Karoo. The petite succulent only reaches a maximum height of 6 to 8 inches.
Crassula Congesta sports soft, velvety chubby oval foliage that resembles little beans. The leaves develop a light, protective wax coating in bright sunlight. The green leaf tips turn into a beautiful pink flash in moderate stress conditions like bright sunlight or slight drought. The plant is a monocarpic succulent, meaning that it does after sporting attractive flowers in rose, mauve, yellow, and green hues from late spring to early summer.
The Crassula Congesta Green Bean is the perfect plant for plant lovers who don’t consider themselves green thumb. It is slightly frost-hardy and thrives best in filtered or partial sun and well-draining soil. Let the soil dry completely before giving it a deep watering.
Related: 6 Plants That Look Like Jade
4. Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus Corniculatus)
Birdsfoot Trefoil is scientifically known as Lotus Corniculatus and belongs to the Fabaceae family, which includes green beans. This herbaceous legume is native to Asia and Europe and was later introduced to North America for pastures.
Although Birdsfoot Trefoil is harvested as hay as an alternative to alfalfa for cattle and sheep, it is now considered a weed amongst turf grasses. These hardy plants survive and even thrive where other forage plants wither away. Over time, Birdsfoot Trefoil has proven to be a stubborn weed amongst turfgrass and landscape areas.
The dainty flowers and long, thin seed pods resemble string beans’ flowers and pods – which is no coincidence as they belong to the same family.
5. Dutchman’s Pipe Vine (Aristolochia Macrophylla)
Dutchman’s Pipe Vine, scientifically known as Aristolochia Macrophylla, belongs to the Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort) family. This high-growing climbing vine is native to the eastern United States. It grows up to 30 feet long and serves as a vital food source for swallowtail butterflies.
The Dutchman’s Pipe Vine is a vigorous deciduous climber with deep-green heart-shaped foliage with pale-silver bellies that alternate on woody stems. From late spring to early summer, the vine inspires exciting conversation with its plum-colored, tobacco pipe-shaped flowers that stay slightly hidden behind the dense foliage. The seedpods boast a bean-like appearance, and the foliage resembles several other bean varieties.
The Dutchman’s Pipe Vine thrives in rich, consistently moist, and well-draining soil in full sun to partial shade. Pant this fast-grower (up to 6 feet per year) near a sturdy climbing structure – trellis, pergola, or chain-link fence – to prevent the plant from rambling over.