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PHASEOLUS vulgaris 'Pencil Pod'

Image of Phaseolus vulgaris 'Pencil Pod'



Botanical Name

PHASEOLUS vulgaris 'Pencil Pod'

Plant Common Name

Bush Bean, Pencil Pod Wax Bush Bean, Wax Bean

General Description

Slender golden wax beans are produced on the vigorous, bush-type plants of ‘Pencil Pod.’ The flavorful beans are produced on high performing plants produce yields around 60 days after planting. Resistance to mosaic virus and anthracnose makes these even more desirable beans for the garden.

Bean leaves are trifoliate (three-leaved), arranged in an alternate fashion on the stem and have somewhat diamond-shaped leaflets. The flowers are typical of peas or beans; larger, rounded petals subtend smaller petals that form a lip or keeled beak. They are produced in loose clusters on short stalks among the foliage and may be white or pinkish. Modern bean cultivars are self-fertile. If harvested young the immature bean pods are eaten, as with green or wax beans. If allowed to mature, the dry, hard seeds can be shucked, stored and eaten at a later date, as with black beans or pintos.

Beans originate from tropical and subtropical region of the Americas, so they should be planted after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed. In cooler temperate regions they are grown as summer crops, and in tropical zones they are planted as fall or winter crops. All should be directly seeded because they do not transplant well. Overwatering seeds before germination can cause seed rot, so be sure to keep them only moderately moist, never wet. Like many members of the bean family, common beans have a mutually beneficial relationship with a bacterium called Rhizobium, which allows plants to add nitrogen to the soil. Seeds and plants often do better if tossed in a commercially available Rhizobium inoculant before planting, but this step is not essential for success. Full sun and rich, friable, evenly moist soil with good drainage is needed for vigorous growth and fruit set.

Bush beans are compact, so they grow and produce well without support, whereas pole types are vines that can reach great lengths, so they require staking or other support. Beans produce usable crops quickly. Harvest them every few days to extend production and harvest time.


  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time


  • Native To

    Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    White, Pink, Lavender

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Light Yellow, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Purple, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Purple

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing