Difference between Beans and Peas


The legumes such as beans and peas comprise the Fabaceae family. Most of the plants in this family are economically important. They include trees, herbs, shrubs as well as vines. The trees are found in the tropics, whereas most herbs and shrubs grow outside tropics.


A bean is a leguminous plant that fixes atmospheric nitrogen. They can be eaten as a whole pod, immature seeds as well, as mature seeds. They contain a sugar molecule called oligosaccharides. These oligosaccharides can only be digested by intestinal bacteria. During this digestion, methane is produced and is later released as flatulence.

Examples – Phaeselous vulgaris (Kidney bean).


A pea is generally associated with the green pods of Pisum sativum. It also includes a variety of seeds from the Fabaceae family. Chickpea and cowpea are examples of this. Most of them are annual plants and cool-season crops. These pod-shaped vegetables cannot thrive in hot temperatures. Like other legumes, they can also fix atmospheric nitrogen.

Difference between Beans and Peas



They are a different genus under the family Fabaceae.

It comprises the genus Pisum.

Beans are summer crops.

Peas are Rabi crops (sown in the winter season).

They are usually oval-shaped.

They are round-shaped.

Examples – Red kidney beans, White kidney beans, Black beans, etc.

Examples – Chickpea, Sweetpea, Black pea, etc.

Also see: Differences between Cereals and Pulses

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Beans and Peas


What are legumes?

Legumes include all leguminous plants. Dry legumes are also called ‘pulses’. E.g., Lentils. They also include the fruits/seeds of beans and peas. Their roots have symbiotic associations with the nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Thus, they fix atmospheric nitrogen and enhance soil fertility.


What is a bine?

Bines or twining vine are climbing plants that use their shoot as a support and grow helically. They have bristles to their grip. Some bines twine or turn clockwise (Runner beans), while others turn anticlockwise (French beans).


What are sprouts?

When seeds are soaked in water overnight, they start to germinate. Within a couple of days, they form sprouts, which is a form of raw food diet. Beansprouts (mung bean sprouts) are most commonly cultivated in Asia.

Also Read: Solanaceae, Fabaceae and Liliaceae: Family Description.

Keep exploring BYJU’S Biology for more such exciting topics.


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