The External Structure of the Bean Plant


Beans are often used as classroom teaching tools because they are easy to grow and include basic structural elements that spark interest in science and nature. The bean plant has five external parts necessary for growth.


A root, or radicle, is the first to emerge from a germinating bean seed. Always growing down, roots grow bigger and branch out to anchor the plant and draw water and nutrients from the soil.


The stem emerges from a bean seed by growing upward through soil, straightening after it surfaces. It brings water and nutrients from the soil to the rest of the plant, and serves as a base for leaves. Some stems become vines, depending on the type of bean grown.


Leaves stretch out from a bean stem, using sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into sugars and other compounds via photosynthesis.


Small, asymmetrical flowers form near bean leaves. They are pollinated by bees, a process that is necessary to grow more seeds.

Pods and Seeds

Flower pollination causes bean pods to develop. Inside the pods grow more bean seeds.


  • How Does a Bean Seed Grow?
  • Public Broadcast System: Photosynthesis
  • Purdue University: Bean Flower
Keywords: bean plant, external parts, structure

About this Author

Joy Brown is a newspaper reporter at "The Courier" and in Findlay, Ohio. She has been writing professionally since 1995, primarily in Findlay and previously at the "Galion (Ohio) Inquirer" and "Toledo City Paper." Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and history from Miami University.

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