Runner beans are a type of legume that are native to South America and are now widely cultivated around the world as a popular vegetable crop. They are a climbing plant, and typically grow up poles or trellises, with long, green pods that contain edible seeds. The pods of runner beans are typically harvested when they are young and tender, before the seeds inside have fully matured. The beans have a slightly sweet, nutty flavor, and can be eaten raw or cooked. They are often boiled, steamed, or stir-fried, and are a common ingredient in many dishes, including salads, stews, and casseroles.