The first introduction of common bean from Central/South America into Western Europe most likely took place around 1500. The attractive bean seeds and their easy transportation warranted numerous additional introductions, not only from the Americas, but also from other areas where the common bean had been introduced. Bean seeds also must have been transported all over Europe both locally and internationally. Natural and human selection took place in and among introductions as well as in hybrid populations. Strong human selection may have led to pure garden forms which often occur in The Netherlands. In the period 1945–1948 a dry-bean collection of some 1500 accessions was made in The Netherlands. These have been classified into various criteria: 1. landraces, ‘primitive’ garden forms and cultivars, 2. (semi)climbing or bush types, 3. various seed colour types, including whitish, brownish, yellowish, black and variegated
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