Pole beans, from the Fabaceae family, have a longer growing season, longer pods and a distinctive flavor not found in bush bean relatives. Pole beans grow well on fences, trellises and poles, reaching heights of 10 to 15 feet during the season. Most varieties thrive in well-draining, loose soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5 and are ready for harvest 60 to 70 days after planting.
The Romano, also known as Italian flat bean, sprouts darkish green pods that mature within 60 days of planting. Pods grow 4 1/2 to 5 inches long and 3/4-inch wide, but remain flat in shape.
Kentucky wonder, also called "Old Homestead," is an heirloom green bean variety that matures within 65 days of planting. Sporting stringless 9-inch oval, curved pods, this variety can also be used for dried beans.
Native to Florida, Dade pole beans are somewhat disease resistant, heavily producing plants. Dade pods are smooth and oval in shape and grow 7 to 8 inches in length, maturing within 60 days of planting.
The asparagus yardlong is a stringless, black seeded variety that produces pods as long as 18 inches in length. This variety grows well in hot climates and matures within 80 days of planting.
Kentucky blue is a 1991 All American Selection hybrid, created from a cross of Kentucky wonder and blue lake beans that is resistant to diseases such as rust. Maturing within 57 to 65 days of planting, straight, stringless beans with white seeds grow 6 to 7 inches in length on 8-foot vines.
Heirloom variety blue coco produces bluish-purple, flattened pods 6 to 7 inches long on vines with purple-tinged foliage. The fleshy bean pods, which mature within 59 days of planting, cover chocolate-colored seeds.
Rattlesnake is a variety that prefers southern, warm climates and can withstand drought. Sporting 7- to 10-inch striped beans in shades of green, purple and tan, Rattlesnake pole beans mature withing 65 to 85 days of planting.