Phaseolus acutifolius


Tepary beans are a small, annual, nitrogen-fixing plant, native to the arid regions of the southwestern United States. These beans are very drought-tolerant and grow best with low humidity. Tepary Bean is used as a dried pulse.


The Tepary Bean is native to the arid regions of the southwestern United States. Today it is grown by the Hopi Indians and other indigenous groups.


This bean species is adapted to high temperatures and low soil moisture and can produce a large crop of nutritious seeds with remarkably little rainfall. Tepary Bean is used as a dried pulse


Plant seeds about 2.5 cm (1 in) apart in rows. Tepary Beans will not do well in humid weather. It has been reported that, if planted in good soil, one good rain near planting time is enough for plant growth and seed production. The wild Tepary Bean, also edible, is a climbing perennial whereas the cultivated forms of the species are mostly erect bushy annuals.

Harvesting and Seed Production

Pods can set seed at high temperatures (35C/95F) whereas most other Phaseolus species can not. Pods are small, 6–7 cm (2-3 in) long, and hairy. Seeds are flat and can be any one of a variety of colors. Seeds mature in about 60–90 days.

Pests and Diseases

Tepary Bean is resistant to common bacterial blight, and plant breeders have transferred this resistance to the common bean.

Cooking and Nutrition

The beans are very similar in appearance and taste to the navy or soup bean that is common in the U.S., although Tepary Beans are regarded as sweeter-tasting. The dried seeds are eaten boiled or baked. Tepary Beans also can be parched and ground into meal and can be added to boiling water for “instant” beans. Dried seeds contain about 60% carbohydrate and 22% protein.


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