Beans vs Peas
Beans and peas are more or less similar in their botanical and physiological characteristics and usage, though there are few exceptions. Thus, it becomes difficult to distinguish those different features exactly and differentiate one from the other. However, there are some differences that you can feel and visually recognize.
What are beans?
Beans are defined in different ways based on various criteria. The criteria again may vary depending on the people who compose it. As an example, Americans can define bean in one way and Indians can do it in another way. Often it is described as pods and seeds of several genera of the family Leguminasae (often called as Fabaceae). But in accordance to the English usage ‘bean’ also refers some other seeds or organs (pods), which make a similitude with leguminasae seeds or pods. Coffee beans, castor beans, cocoa beans may show some similarity to the legume seeds, while vanilla pods may be comparatively similar to the pods of legumes. They are frequently referred as pulse crops, and peas are one key fraction of them. All the leguminasae plants gain their nitrogen requirement through self-fixation with the help of rhyzobium bacteria associated in root nodules. They can fix the atmospheric nitrogen and convert in to biologically available forms. Some of the main bean varieties are common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), broad bean (Vicia faba), lima (Phaseolus lunatus), mung bean (Vigna radiata) etc.
What are peas?
Peas are only a variety of beans. But it includes the crops in the genera of Pisum and some of the edible seeds of fabaceae and lathyrus species. Some of the well-known peas are Pisum sativum (common pea), Vigna unguiculata (cowpea) and Cajanus cajan (pigeon pea). Peas have both climbing and dwarf varieties. Pea vines have coil like structures called as tendrils. They help the vine to climb by twining around any supportive structure. Peas are also cold season crops.
Similarities between beans and peas
There are plenty of similarities between beans and peas. The most important similarity is that both are pulse crops, which belong to the same leguminasea family. Therefore, beans and peas show more or less similar botanical features. Both crop types do have vast varietal difference. Climbing and dwarf varieties are commonly identified in both cases. When considering about the nutritional properties of beans and peas, they are composed of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals, with some proportional differences. They contain tanning and phytic acid as antinutritional factors.
These crops can be used for various agricultural purposes such as intercropping, crop rotations, biological fuels, green manure, and rhyzobium bio fertilizer. Both plant types are able to reproduce by self-pollination.
Difference between beans and peas
Beans are categorized under different genera of fabaseae family, whereas the peas mostly consist of seeds and pods of genera Pisum. Growth patterns of climbing variety beans and peas are different. Tendrils (twining structures) can be seen in pea vines while no other beans have them, and instead they use vine itself to twin around the support. Most of the peas are taken to consume in their dried form, while beans are consumed as freshly prepared food, in addition, to their dried seeds.