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Phaseolus (family Leguminosae, subfamily Papilionatae) A genus of herbs or slender climbers, many of which produce edible seeds (beans) or pods. The genus includes: P. coccineus (runner bean); P. lunatus (lima bean); and P. vulgaris (kidney, french, navy, haricot, or frizoles bean). There are about 50 species, native to warm and tropical America.