Wild beans and bean-like plants
A source of protein
The seed bank of Meise Botanic Garden holds one of the largest collections of wild beans and bean-like plants (Fabaceae) in the world. The genera Phaseolus and Vigna are particularly well represented. Pulses are important worldwide as a source of protein in the diet. Cultural varieties of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), the runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), the cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) and the mung bean (Vigna radiata) are examples of this.
The collection aims to preserve the long-term genetic variation of this group, which is essential to ensure the future of these vital food crops. A collection like this is an important source of genetic material for scientific research and breeding.