Unlike their bush counterparts, pole beans send up vine tendrils that can reach 6 to 12 feet in height. Though most pole beans share similar growing environments, requiring full sun and loose loam, the general category can get divided into several specific varieties. Each kind has its own distinctive look and characteristic.
'Dade' thrives in very warm climates and grows well in areas like Florida. Its pods, which grow up to 8 inches long and have a smooth appearance, are typically ready for harvesting within 60 days of planting.
'Ura' pole beans grow exceptionally tall, 8 feet or higher. Ready for harvesting within 60 days of starting, the pods have a 7-inch length with a dark green color and a distinctive, pencil-thin size. Unlike many pole bean varieties, 'Ura' beans are white.
'Blue Lake' bean pods, measuring approximately 6 inches in length, are best known for being stringless. The pods are prime for picking within 65 days of sowing.
The medium-green pods of the 'Romano' pole bean variety are relatively shorter than average at just 4 1/2 inches in length. Expect a harvest within 60 days of planting. Specialty versions may come in different colors, like the 'Yellow Romano' variety that has cream-yellow pods.
The 'Blue Coco' is considered an heirloom bean variety and isn't as widely available as varieties that are grown commercially. As its name suggests, the vine and pods have a slight purple- or blue-tinged appearance. The pods themselves mature in just under 60 days and measure approximately 7 inches long with a curved shape.
Although they take longer than the average variety to mature for harvest, the pods of the 'Kentucky Wonder 191' are long and thick at 8 inches in length and 1/2 inches wide. Expect to wait approximately 65 to 70 days to harvest.
'Borlotto' beans mature quickly, often being ready to pick in just over 50 days. Also known as an Italian soup pole bean, they foot-long pods can be eaten fresh but are often allowed to dry on the vine and harvested dry for use in stews and soups.