The kidney bean (Latin: Phaseolus vulgaris) plant is a variety of the common bean. The bean resembles a kidney in shape and colour, hence its name. It is an annual herbaceous plant of the family Fabaceae. The plant grows into a hardy, tall bush and produces multiple pods. Each pod contains 4-6 smooth, kidney-shaped beans. The dark red kidney beans are large with a glossy red skin and have a firm texture. They hold up well in soups, salads, and dishes that cook for a long time.
The red kidney bean is native to Central America and Mexico and thought to have originated in Peru. The plant requires well-drained, slightly acidic soil, with lots of sun to grow and mature. Kidney beans need about 90-100 days from germination to harvest.
Kidney beans have been part of the human diet for over 8000 years. The beans were spread by migrating tribes and served as a source of protein, fiber, iron, and potassium in the diet of people. Today, kidney beans are one of the most consumed foods in the world.
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